New Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced that he will be launching a formal policy consultation into the measures required to clean up the capital’s toxic air pollution.
During a visit to a primary school in Aldgate, Sir John Cass’s Foundation School, the Mayor argued that he wants to “act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to meet the scale of the challenge.”
The Primary School has already taken steps to become one of the capitals greenest schools with initiatives such as a green roof garden to reduce traffic pollution from the busy roads nearby the school.
Medical research suggests that an estimated 10,000 Londoners prematurely die each year as a result of air pollution. Moreover, many streets in the capital currently exceed the legal cap for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution, including Putney High Street which was previously covered by KCW Today.
On the 12th May the World Health Organisation (WHO) released research showing that London has also breached the safe levels for PM10 pollutants.
Among Khan’s new proposals will be bringing forward the creation of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is currently planned for 2020. The new ULEZ could also be extended to include the North and South Circular, as well as the Congestion Zone as is currently planned.
Additionally, the most polluting vehicles entering central London could be charged extra under the current Congestion Charge payment scheme from 2017.
Other aspects of the Mayor’s consultation could mean giving the green light to Transport for London (TfL) to begin its diesel scrappage scheme, and retrofitting 3,000 buses outside the central zone.
Recently elected new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan put forward his green agenda, claiming: “I have been elected with a clear mandate to clean up London’s air – our biggest environmental challenge.”
“I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health as I only recently started suffering from asthma as an adult,” Khan said, adding “many pollution hotspots in London are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”