Mayor doubles money to tackle air pollution
City Hall’s £875m ‘dwarfs’ Boris’s money pledge
THE amount of money committed to tackling the London’s air quality crisis will be more than doubled over the next five years, Sadiq Khan has confirmed.
London’s mayor announced that £875 million will be invested in action to improve the quality of the capital’s air for the next five years.
City Hall has said the new Transport for London (TfL) business plan ‘ dwarfs the £425m’ pledged by former mayor Boris Johnson.
The mayor said he wanted London to be a ‘world leader’ in tackling toxic air and challenged ministers to ‘ prove they share [his] ambition’.
The news comes as the world’s first hydrogen running bus was unveiled by the Labour mayor to phase out ‘dirty diesel’ buses.
Making the announcement on Wednesday December 7, the mayor said: “With nearly 10,000 Londoners dying early every year due to air pollution, tackling poor air quality is a public health emergency that requires bold action.
“I want London to be a world leader in how we respond to the challenge of cleaning up our air, and I’m announcing that TfL will be doubling spending on improving London’s air over the next five years.
“In taking action, such as setting up the world’s first ultra low emission zone and purchasing only hybrid or zero-emission buses, I’m ensuring that tackling air quality becomes a central part of how our transport network operates.”
The mayor is also working with the City of Westminster to make Oxford Street more pedestrian friendly and improve air quality and safety.
Proposals to reduce the number of buses running along Oxford
n London does not meet legal requirements for nitrogen dioxide (NO) and 474 of the city’s schools are in areas where safe levels are being breached
n Each year 9,400 deaths occur in the capital linked to air quality-related illnesses
n £22 million of the investment will be spent on consultation to remove older polluting vehicles from central London with the introduction of the new ‘T-charge’.
n Five low emissions neighbourhoods will be introduced across eight boroughs, costing £5m.
n £9m will be spent targeting the worst pollution hotspots in London.
Street will be detailed in 2017.
The taxi and private hire trades will also play their part, with all new black cabs licenced after January 1, 2018, having to be zero-emission capable and no new diesel taxis allowed.
Samantha Walker, Asthma UK’s director of research and policy, said: “Two thirds of people with asthma tell us poor air quality can make their symptoms worse, meaning
they are at much greater risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.
“There is strong evidence linking air pollution with the development of asthma in the first place.
“For some of the 600,000 people in London with asthma, seemingly simple tasks like going to the shops, school or commuting to work can leave them battling to breathe on days of high air pollution.”
n GREEN BID: Sadiq Khan and (second from right) unveiled the new double decker hydrogen buses