Europe starts court action on air pollution

20 February 2014

"The failure of the Mayor and Government to deal with this major public health crisis is scandalous" says Green Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Jones as 78% of London's main road network is over the legal limit for NO2.

Camden High Street

All of Camden's main roads break the European legal limits for NO2 air pollution.

Photograph courtesy of David Iliff.

The European Commission is taking court against the UK Government over their failure to reduce air pollution to below the legal targets originally agreed by the UK over 14 years ago. The Government has admitted that London is unlikely to meet the limit values set for 2010, until 2025.

All of Camden’s main roads break the European legal limits for NO2 air pollution, along with the City of London and Kensington and Chelsea. 78% of London’s main road network is over the legal limit for NO2. Bromley has 45% of its main roads in breach of the NO2 pollution limit.

Jenny Jones said:

“The failure of the Mayor and the Government to deal with this major public health crisis is scandalous. Air pollution contributes to an estimated 4,200 premature deaths in London, with under-developed children’s lungs, a link with heart attacks and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have said it causes cancer. Politicians at all levels of government have paid lip service to reducing pollution, but none have actually made the big changes we need.

Court action by the European Commission is a wakeup call to remind our Government and Mayor that they promised to reduce air pollution and protect people’s health. You can’t build new roads and expand airports like Heathrow, while saying that you are doing all you can to reduce premature deaths from air pollution. You need to ban all the worst dirty vehicles from London, reduce traffic and make the switch to low emission vehicles.”


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