Clean air saves lives
24 May, 2018
• AFTER dither and delay, and being taken to court numerous times, I was pleased finally to see the government publish its Clean Air Strategy this week.
It is absolutely unacceptable that local people in north London continue to be exposed to some of the highest levels of toxic air in London.
According to the latest data, air pollution causes over 9,000 premature deaths every year, so it is clear that a government intervention has been long overdue. But the government’s plans to clean up our air still do not go far enough, failing to address the main source of illegal emissions in London: cars and lorries.
The Mayor of London has led the way on this issue, introducing robust measures to tackle vehicle pollution such as the T-Charge, cleaner buses on the worst polluted routes and from 2019 a bigger and more ambitious Ultra Low Emission Zone.
It’s good the government are finally following the mayor’s lead, but they must take more urgent and comprehensive action before more lives are unnecessarily cut short. They should start by taking stringent measures to get the most polluting vehicles off our roads – and allow London access to the Clean Air Fund. After all. Londoners pay for it so why can’t they have some of it?
London Labour Assembly Member for the North East