New London Mayor Pledges to Tackle Toxic Air Quality

In one of his first major announcements after being elected as the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced that he will soon launch a formal policy consultation on a major package of measures to tackle air pollution in London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "I want to act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to meet the scale of the challenge.”

The Mayor's press release said that 10,000 Londoners die every year because of polluted air according to the latest medical research.  London does not currently meet the legal requirements for pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and that new research published by the World Health Organisation showed that London has breached safe levels of PM10 particulates.

The proposals in the consultation will include:

  • Extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone area, with the possibility of bringing forward the introduction earlier than 2020.   
  • Implementing an extra charge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London using the Congestion Charge system from 2017
  • Introducing the Ultra-Low Emission Zone standards for heavy vehicles London-wide from 2020
  • Purchasing only hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018
  • Giving the go-ahead for Transport for London (TfL) to start work on implementing a diesel scrappage scheme
  • Proposals to work with the Government to tackle air pollution on a national and international level.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, added “I have been elected with a clear mandate to clean up London’s air – our biggest environmental challenge. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health as I only recently started suffering from asthma as an adult.  Many pollution hotspots in London are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”