Mayor dou­bles money to tackle air pol­lu­tion

City Hall’s £875m ‘dwarfs’ Boris’s money pledge

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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