Strengthen red route pollution monitoring to save lives, says London air report


The London Assembly Environment Committee launched ‘Clean Air for all Londoners’ – a report on air pollution in the capital – on 23 March. The report makes a number of recommendations to the Mayor of London to tackle the city’s air pollution, including:

  • Strengthen monitoring of pollution from London’s red routes and incorporate new monitoring of air quality emissions for the Silvertown Tunnel project. A regular report should be produced on the changes in pollution on London’s main roads.
  • Consider how to support Londoners concerned about air pollution in local areas with access to new, live pollution monitoring, especially particulate matter and nitrogen oxides such as that supported by the Breathe London Network.
  • Set out how parking policies from TfL, the boroughs and measures such as the Workplace Parking Levy can reduce car use in a fair way that considers people with disabilities and those that live in areas with less public transport.
  • Continue measures that enable more active travel and sustainable transport options, particularly walking and cycling.
  • Publish an evaluation of the impact of scrappage schemes to date in shifting Londoners’ behaviour.
  • Review the timeline of Zero Emission Zones, as they are set to come in by 2025 and incorporate these zones as part of the overall picture for reducing emissions.
  • Call on the Government for further powers to support a specific target for the reduction of domestic wood burning in London and provide annual statistics on domestic wood burning to enable closer and more frequent monitoring of progress.
  • Call for further powers to regulate Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) via a user-charging scheme akin to the ULEZ with penalties for non-compliant plant and machinery.
  • Lobby government for requirements on developers of construction sites to conduct detailed air quality monitoring.
  • Consider a badge scheme to approve and identify businesses that are supporting cleaner air and who are embracing zero or low emission practices.

Zack Polanski AM, Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee, said:

“Every year people are dying from breathing toxic air and every day Londoners are exposed to filthy air. For those living in or near congested and busy roads the impact is even graver. And we have the stark evidence that air pollution is particularly damaging to children’s health.”

“The formidable campaign work of Rosamund Kissi-Debrah is testament to the ongoing battle. It is tragic Ella died from air pollution, but sadly she will not be the only one. Everybody needs to wake up to the fact that toxic air kills. A great deal more needs to be done to urgently reduce air pollution in this city and to bring it in line with new WHO guidelines. But any reduction whatsoever helps the situation we face.

“We now have high pollution alerts and warnings, but we cannot just wring our hands and say to vulnerable people avoid going outside. It is unacceptable for anyone to fear going outside.”

“The Mayor of London has recently announced the expansion of the ULEZ to cover the whole of London, but there is plenty more to be done. This report sets out practical recommendations that can ease air pollution – it is paramount that we all strive to clean up London’s air.”

You can read the report here.