Putney High St was first to break EU laws in 2016
In an echo
of 2016 it has only taken a matter of days for London to breach its annual air
pollution limit for the whole year.
law hourly levels of nitrogen dioxide should not exceed 200 micrograms per
cubic metre more than 18 times in a year. By 9 o’clock on the evening of
Thursday 5th January this legal threshold had been broken on Brixton
Rd in Lambeth, South London, according to the London Air Quality Network.
In 2016 Putney
High St was the first site to exceed the legal threshold just eight days into
the new year. In 2015 Oxford St took the prize after just two days.
figures from Kings College London seem to indicate that over 60 per cent of the
97 monitoring sites across London exceeded legal annual limits for 2016. It is
accepted that most main roads in London regularly breach legal levels for
nitrogen dioxide with three quarters of the monitoring stations recording
nitrogen dioxide exceedances in 2015.
The campaign group CientEarth
recently won a High Court ruling where the Government has to produce a
satisfactory air quality plan that brings pollution levels within legal limits.
ClientEarth lawyer Alan
Andrews said: ‘While London has the worst air pollution, this is a national
problem which requires a national solution. The Government’s draft plans to
tackle air pollution, as ordered by the High Court, are due in April.
‘They must include a
national network of clean air zones, which stop the dirtiest diesel vehicles
entering pollution hotspots. They also have to stop the perverse fiscal
incentives which encourage people to use diesel vehicles
and instead help them to buy cleaner ones.’
rather grim headline figures for the capital research carried out by Kings
College published in the Journal of Environmental Pollution in September shows
that London air pollution policies are starting to have an impact with an
overall improvement in air quality.
looking at nitrogen dioxide the research found that between 2005 and 2009
levels along London’s roads increased by an average of 11 per cent per year.
This increase is attributed to increasing numbers of diesel coaches and buses
along with suspect Euro class standards as real time emissions failed to
reflect factory tests.
fitting new exhaust clean-up technology to older buses began to curb nitrogen
dioxide levels to the point where levels decreased on average by five per cent
a year between 2010 and 2014.
research found that there was a significant variety in improvement across the
capital with some areas showing a market improvement in air quality while
others remained stubbornly polluted.
authors of the report concluded that a multitude of London wide and local air
quality initiatives aimed at tackling traffic pollution are having an
Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised to introduce a bigger ultra-low emission zone in
2019 while deploying the cleanest buses on the most polluted routes.
this week suggested that as many as 11 per cent of cases of dementia in people
living near busy roads may be linked to air pollution.