Just two months into his term as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched the first stage of the consultation on his plans for improving London’s air quality. You only have a few days left to tell the Mayor what you think so please fill in the survey.
Air pollution in the capital is a huge concern. A report from King’s College suggests nearly 9,500 people’s lives per year are shortened as a result of London’s air pollution - this is unacceptable.
We need to act now to improve air quality
There is so much we can do to tackle air pollution from improving the availability of public transport, improving traffic management, restricting vehicular access, limiting emissions and of course making cycling and walking an obvious and easy choice for all local journeys. But it’s important the Mayor knows we care about air quality before he will take action.
While a recent study calculated that for most people the health benefits of walking or cycling far outweigh the risks from air pollution we, by no means, should accept this risk.
We've cleaned up coal but the number of cars on the road has increased
In 1956 the Clean Air Act was established in response to public concern after an estimated 4,000 people died due to the 'Great Smog' in 1952. Since then we’ve stopped burning so much coal, particularly in our cities, with the empty husk of Battersea Power station a testament to this.
But road traffic has increased dramatically and is a major source of air pollution in London. While traffic in London has been in decline thanks to investment and focus on public transport, walking and cycling, we’ve still got a long way to go.
Motorised transport still contributes over 60 percent of particulate matter (PM10) and 47 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions.
Air pollution has a serious impact on health - especially that of children
In fact London has some of the highest NO2 levels in the world. The first street to break the annual emission limits did so just eight days into the new year, with several other areas in the capital breaking their annual limits before the end of January.
Some of the people most severely impacted by poor air quality are children. 24 percent of primary schools are in areas that breach the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide. This is a pollutant that inflames the lungs, stunts children’s growth, and increases the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer.
Sadiq Khan blames London’s dirty air for developing asthma in recent years and promised to make air pollution one of his top priorities. Now Londoners have the opportunity to tell the new Mayor that they want him to be bold in tackling dirty air in the capital.
Londoners have until 29 July to complete the short survey that will help show the Mayor that they are behind him in getting tough on air pollution. Make sure you show your support.