Air quality alerts to appear on the Tube
Mayor’s scheme aims to crackdown on pollution
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.
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.