Air Pollution: 78% of London At Illegal Levels
Tuesday 3rd September 2013
More than three quarters of London's main roads have illegal levels of air pollution.
Figures obtained by LBC 97.3 show Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden and Westminster are among the worst performing boroughs.
Nearly all of their main roads exceed legally-binding European limits of nitrogen dioxide, which is produced by cars, trucks and buses.
Campaigners estimate around 90% of nitrogen dioxide is produced by diesel vehicles.
Medical studies show a link between exposure to nitrogen dioxide and an increased likelihood of respiratory problems.
Bromley, Bexley, Sutton and Harrow are the best performing boroughs, although in each case about half of their main roads exceed the legal pollution levels.
Simon Birkett from Clean Air In London said: "This helps explain why London has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas, of any capital city in Europe: well over twice legal limits and World Health Organisation guidelines near our busiest streets. In the European Commission's 'Year of Air' in 2013, we need a promise from the Mayor of bold new action to tackle this problem in his current term of office not some wish list for the end of the next Mayor's term."
A spokesperson for Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Since the Mayor took office emissions of oxides of nitrogen are down by an estimated 20%. That is because of an ambitious package of measures including building Europe's largest fleet of low emission hybrid buses, retiring the oldest taxis and introducing tighter emission standards for lorries and vans.
"Clearly there is still more to do, which is why the Mayor has announced ambitious plans for his second term including a new Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020 - the first of its kind in any big city in the world. The Mayor is also working closely with London boroughs and businesses, committing £20m to a new Air Quality Fund to improve pollution hotspots across the capital."
These figures were calculated using data released by the Mayor of London's office earlier this year, with analysis from the Green Party at City Hall and campaign group Clean Air In London.
They are made up of air quality monitoring statistics from 2012.
The figures by borough:
|Borough ||Total kms of main road ||Kms over European limit ||% over European limit|
|City of London||19||19||100% |
|Hammersmith and Fulham||47||46||100%|
|Kensington and Chelsea||48||48||100%|
|Kingston upon Thames||70||54||76%|
|Barking and Dagenham||60||46||76%|
| Merton ||71||53||74%|
|Richmond upon Thames||93||61||66%|