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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:

Total kms of main road
Kms over European limit
 % over European limit
 City of London 19 19100%
 Hammersmith and Fulham 47 46100%
 Westminster 105 104100%
 Kensington and Chelsea 48 48100%
 Camden 66 66100%
 Islington 49 4999%
 Hackney 57 5598%
 Tower Hamlets 89 8797%
 Lambeth 75 7396%
 Southwark 83 7995%
 Wandsworth 81 7795%
 Lewisham 61 5488%
 Ealing 106 9488%
 Haringey 65 5788%
 Newham 98 8587%
 Hounslow 141 11884%
 Brent 81 6782%
 Redbridge 106 8681%
 Greenwich 122 9779%
 Barnet 190 14878%
 Enfield 139 10777%
 Kingston upon Thames 70 5476%
 Barking and Dagenham 60 4676%
 Waltham Forest 84 6475%
 71 5374%
 Richmond upon Thames 93 6166%
 Hillingdon 135 9066%
 Croydon 119 7462%
 Havering 140 7957%
 Bexley 114 6356%
 Harrow 54 3056%
 Sutton 61 3151%
 Bromley 129 5845%
 LONDON 2960 231778%