Air qual­ity alerts to ap­pear on the Tube

Mayor’s scheme aims to crack­down on pol­lu­tion

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Salina Pa­tel

LON­DON­ERS will get upto-date alerts on air qual­ity from bus stops, tube sta­tions and road sides, in a new scheme as City Hall takes ac­tion against pol­lu­tion.

Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan an­nounced the alerts af­ter an ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion on mea­sures be­ing taken to clean up the cap­i­tal’s filthy air.

The alerts, be­gin­ning on Au­gust 15, will use a three-day fore­cast to show when air pol­lu­tion is par­tic­u­larly high, ad­vis­ing peo­ple to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

Nearly 15,000 peo­ple re­sponded to the con­sul­ta­tion, with 79% say­ing they wanted more in­for­ma­tion when air pol­lu­tion is high or very high so they can take ac­tion to pro­tect their health.

Mr Khan said: “I be­lieve that Lon­don­ers have a right to know about the qual­ity of the air that they breathe.

“These new alerts will al­low them to take pre­cau­tions and help them plan ahead to avoid the worst in­stances of air pol­lu­tion.

“I am do­ing ev­ery­thing within my power as Mayor to put the health of Lon­don­ers first.

“I hope that these alerts will be­come less and less fre­quent as we take steps to make our al­ready great city a cleaner place to live, work and study in.”

It was only last month that the Labour Mayor pro­posed a new charge for older ve­hi­cles in a crack­down which could see Lon­don be the high­est charg­ing city for emis­sion.

What pol­lu­tion am breath­ing in?

Al­though most pol­lu­tants are not at lev­els in Lon­don that would af­fect hu­man health, there are sev­eral sub­stances in our air. Sul­phur diox­ide (SO2)

Ni­tro­gen diox­ide (NO2) Ni­tro­gen ox­ides (NOX)

Par­tic­u­late mat­ter (PM10 and PM2.5) Lead Ben­zene

Car­bon (CO) Benzo(a)pyrene Ozone (O3) The two pol­lu­tants of most con­cern are par­tic­u­late mat­ter and ni­tro­gen diox­ide.

I monox­ide

Where is all the pol­lu­tion from?

Mostly road trans­port, plus do­mes­tic and com­mer­cial heating sys­tems.

Young chil­dren, older peo­ple and those with heart or res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems are most at risk of be­ing af­fected.

Where will the alerts be?

Dur­ing and on the day be­fore high and very high air pol­lu­tion qual­ity alerts dis­played at:

2,500 bus count­down signs and river pier signs across Lon­don.

140 road-side mes­sage signs on the busiest main roads into Lon­don

Elec­tronic update signs in the en­trances of all 270 Lon­don Un­der­ground sta­tions. days, will air be

What ad­vice alerts give?

De­pend­ing on the alert level and com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel, dif­fer­ent in­for­ma­tion and guid­ance will be pro­vided in­clud­ing:

Ad­vis­ing peo­ple to walk, cy­cle or use public trans­port if pos­si­ble to help im­prove air qual­ity to re­duce stren­u­ous ac­tiv­ity if some­one ex­pe­ri­ences symp­toms

Ad­vis­ing asthma suf­fer­ers and other vul­ner­a­ble groups that they may need to use their in­haler more of­ten

In­struc­tions to switch en­gines off when sta­tion­ary to re­duce emis­sions



City Hall have said this is the first step to­wards Lon­don putting in place a com­pre­hen­sive air pol­lu­tion in­ci­dent plan, which will also pro­vide crit­i­cal in­for­ma­tion to emer­gency and sup­port ser­vices.

How will the alerts work?

The alerts will use a three-day ahead fore­cast about air pol­lu­tion lev­els pro­vided by airTEXT.

More vul­ner­a­ble Lon­don­ers with par­tic­u­lar health needs will con­tinue to have ac­cess to the airTEXT ser­vice en­abling them to get reg­u­lar fore­casts via text, voice­mail, email, mobile app and on­line.

The Mayor will also use his Twit­ter ac­count and other so­cial me­dia chan­nels to make peo­ple aware of mod­er­ate air qual­ity in­ci­dents, which oc­cur around 40 times a year.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of sur­face trans­port, said: “We are work­ing with the Mayor to de­liver an am­bi­tious and widerang­ing pro­gramme to im­prove air qual­ity across the Cap­i­tal.

“An im­por­tant part of this work is to raise aware­ness and pro­vide ad­vice to peo­ple on how they can per­son­ally con­trib­ute to this work.”

The first round of the Mayor’s Clean Air con­sul­ta­tion pro­poses a range of mea­sures in­clud­ing new charges for the old­est most pol­lut­ing ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing cen­tral Lon­don from 2017, an ex­panded Ul­tra Low Emis­sion Zone, and a diesel scrap­page scheme .

A fur­ther more de­tailed con­sul­ta­tion will take place later this year and some mea­sures could be im­ple­mented as early as 2017.

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