Khan He Do It? London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan Announces “Package of Measures” to Improve Quality of London’s Air

  • T-Charge to be introduced on top of congestion charge
  • Expansion to the Ultra Low Emission Zone
  • Two new electric bus routes announced to cut air pollution
  • Proposal for diesel scrappage scheme to lower number of diesel cars on the roads

Since being elected Mayor, Sadiq Khan has pledged to tackle London’s toxic air with a “package of measures” aimed at reducing pollution across the capital. The measures target vehicle emissions in some of London’s most polluted areas.Image result for sadiq khan london bus

One of the measures being introduced by the Mayor to help improve the quality of the city’s air is the T-charge. This will be a £10 fee for the more polluting vehicles wishing to travel in central London and will operate on top of the existing congestion charge. What this means for older vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standard for emissions is that they will have to pay a total of £21.50 each day to drive in the congestion zone between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

The levy is expected to hit our streets from the 23rd of October.

The announcement comes amid a fresh wave of criticism of London’s toxic air. Recent research has suggested that the capital’s poor air quality is responsible for around 9,000 premature deaths each year in the capital alone. Across the UK the figure is believed to be almost 30,000 and it is estimated to cost the government £30 billion every year. London has been in violation of EU rules on emissions every year since 2010 and in 2017, the city breached annual limits on pollution in just five days.

London’s Mayor has also pressed the government to get behind his ‘dirty’ diesel scrappage scheme. This will be a fund to compensate drivers who have purchased diesel vehicles, believing them to be the ‘cleaner’ option. Further efforts to reduce pollution include an expansion to the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone and also to bring the starting date forward from 2020 to 2019. Mayor Khan has also announced two new greener bus routes that will now run exclusively electric busses to add to what has been described as a package of “hard hitting” measures to combat London’s air pollution problem. There is no doubt that Sadiq Khan has made pollution one of his top priorities as Mayor of London, but the question remains; will it be enough?


City Smog: London’s Filthy Air

Over the past week, London’s air has been breaking records. As you might suspect, the new records are not particularly desirable.

With temperatures dropping and winds dying down, the levels of nitrogen dioxide and soot in the air soared. On several occasions over the past week levels of pollution in the capital have been worse than Beijing, which is known for its poor quality of air. For the first time ever, London mayor Sadiq Khan issued a ‘very high’ pollution alert.

One location in Lambeth was among the first to breach air pollution limits. Brixton Road broke limits just 120 hours into the New Year. London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has promised to double funding to £875 million over the next 5 years to help tackle the issue. He has also committed to expanding the ultra-low emission zone and running the cleanest buses on the most polluted routes.

One Brixton resident Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth, says “we need immediate action to cut pollution in the short term and protect Londoners’ health”.

Clearly London’s air is high on the mayor’s list of priorities as he recently tweeted about “The shameful state of London’s toxic air”. In spite of his efforts many believe much more is needed to be done to combat what has been described by MPs as “a public health emergency”.

Pollution in London of course is nothing new; the city has breached EU air quality regulations every year since 2010. Under EU law, the average hourly emission of NO2 should not surpass 200 micrograms per cubic metre more than 18 times each year. This year the City managed to do so in just 5 days. According to The Guardian, 24 different locations around the capital reached the maximum measurable level of air pollution which is more than double the legal limit.

It’s estimated that nearly 4 million people work in areas of London that are above legal pollution levels. London’s toxic air is believed to be responsible for nearly 10,000 deaths per year and a further 30,000 across the UK. It is said that it costs the government nearly £30 billion every year.