Councils urge London Mayor to ‘do his share’ on air quality

Leaders of Islington and Camden borough councils challenge Boris Johnson to reduce air pollution by operating low emission buses from bus garage

Leaders of Camden and Islington borough councils have called on the London Mayor to do more to tackle air pollution in the capital.

The councils claim the Mayor’s own statistics show that air pollution is causing 207 premature deaths a year in the two boroughs.

600 hybrid buses are set to be rolled out in London but Camden and Islington councils have called for more low emission buses to tackle air pollution

600 hybrid buses are set to be rolled out in London but Camden and Islington councils have called for more low emission buses to tackle air pollution

As a result, they are calling on Boris Johnson to ‘do his share’ by operating low polluting hybrid or New Bus for London vehicles from Islington’s Holloway Bus Garage — the largest in London.

Additionally, the councils want high polluting junctions to be modernised and restrictions on diesel lorries and taxis to be tightened.

The councils said that the Mayor’s bus fleet includes non-hybrid vehicles emitting high levels of nitrogen dioxide. In addition, traffic idling at unmodernised junctions at Old Street, Highbury Corner and Archway emits high levels of air pollution.

The calls for action follow a recent joint air quality summit between the two councils at Islington Town Hall, which highlighted local initiatives such as 20mph speed limits, reducing school run traffic, improving corporate road fleets, the Air Text alert service and other local community projects.

Islington councillor Rakhia Ismail, executive member for sustainability, said: “Air pollution has serious health effects for Islington and Camden residents, especially children. The local councils are already doing much to tackle the problem at source — including greening our fleet and improving walking and cycling initiatives. Now we need the London Mayor to do his share.”

Last week, Islington council leader Richard Watts and Camden councillor for sustainability, transport and planning — Phil Jones — wrote to Mr Johnson on January 23 2013 requesting an urgent meeting with local residents to discuss concerns.

Camden councillor Phil Jones, commented: “Much of the pollution on our roads is caused by taxis, buses, and through traffic. We are lobbying the Mayor of London to do a lot more to stop thousands of Londoners dying too soon because of the air that we breathe.”

The two councils have also called on the Mayor to introduce the proposed new Ultra Low Emission Zone for London as soon as possible, as well as being as ‘robust and wide as practicable’.

Currently, Euston Road and Camden High Street are among the most polluted roads in the capital with levels of nitrogen dioxide twice the recommended safe limit.

Furthermore, roads in Islington around Angel, one of Transport for London (TfL)’s focus areas — are estimated to suffer from nearly twice the safe level of the pollutant.


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James MIller
James MIller
10 years ago

I live in the western part of Hackney and suffer from some of the worst traffic and pollution excesses. I don’t drive and rely on buses travelling through the three pinch points mentioned. The worst times, are when Arsenal are at home in the evening. Things would be improved if some way could be found to encourage people not to drive to the stadium. Perhaps putting a back entrance into Highbury and Islington station would help, to make walking to and from the Emirates easier.

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