Air Pollution Along Cycle Superhighway More Than Twice Legal Limit, LBC Finds

12 July 2019, 07:55 | Updated: 12 July 2019, 07:57

Theo Usherwood

By Theo Usherwood

Air pollution along the cycle superhighway in central London is still more than twice the EU's legal limit.

The £47 million scheme – completed in 2016 – was supposed to lead to cleaner air.

But an investigation for campaigners who want to move the cycle lane from Blackfriars Bridge to Tower Hill, has found that in the month of June, Nitrogen Dioxide levels reached up to 122 micrograms per cubic metre.

On average, environmental consultants Ricardo found average levels of toxic fumes at more than twice the legal limit, only slightly better than those recorded back in 2012 before the cycle lane was built.

Listeners have complained to LBC that during the middle of the day, the cycling lane is relatively empty.

But as LBC has found in this video, there is heavy congestion heading out of London, along a stretch of road which has been reduced from two lanes to one in order to make way for the segregated cycle lane.

The cycle superhighway in London
The cycle superhighway in London. Picture: PA

Tony Halmos, from the Unblock the Embankment campaign, has told LBC he wants the cycle lane re-routed through the City of London to free up traffic along the Embankment.

He said: “The space needs putting back to four lanes both ways, the traffic will flow more easily, and the pollution for that reason alone will come down.”

Will Norman is the Walking and Cycling Commissioner at City Hall.

In a statement, he said: "Despite what some critics may say, cycle lanes do not cause pollution.

“The opposite is true: enabling more people to cycle and reducing car use is part of the solution to solving our toxic air crisis, with CS3 used by 11,000 cyclists a day."