London round-up: Camden/HS2, T-charge, and park pollution

A round-up of some air quality news for London including HS2, T-Charge vehicle impact forecasts and open space pollution research

Camden offers update on HS2 air quality impact

Camden council has reported progress on air quality studies carried out on behalf of HS2 Ltd, which link to the potential impact of proposed HS2 construction within the borough for the fast railway project.

Construction of a new Euston station (as in the artist's impression) would impact on Camden

Construction of a new Euston station (as in the artist’s impression) would impact on Camden

To manage the effect on air quality caused by the construction, HS2 Ltd has committed to conducting an air quality study to establish baseline figures before construction commences.

According to Camden council, this is “important to ensure that HS2 Ltd is held accountable” for the impact construction traffic will have on the borough, and so that the company can implement an action plan to reduce this impact.

After receiving HS2 Ltd’s initial plans, Camden council proposed eight additional monitoring locations, including sites at Netley Primary School and St Aloysius Junior School.

According to the council, HS2 Ltd accepted these proposals and is currently monitoring nitrogen dioxide at 51 locations across Camden.

However, Camden council has voiced its concern that HS2 Ltd is not intending to provide real-time monitoring

To minimise the impacts on local air quality by HS2’s construction vehicles, HS2 Ltd has committed to a series of measures, including ensuring that all heavy good vehicles (HGVs) will be Euro VI compliant.

HS2 Ltd will also set targets for light vehicles to be ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs), such as electric cars and vans.

TFL estimates vehicle surcharge numbers

Transport for London (TFL) has provided an estimate as to how many vehicles would be required to pay the £10 emissions surcharge, or T-Charge has it has become known. which could be introduced in 2017.

The figures come in response to a question from Liberal Democrat London assembly member Caroline Pidgeon who asked Mr Khan during Mayoral Question Time: “Please provide a breakdown of the number, and type, of vehicles that would be required to pay your proposed £10 emissions surcharge based on current traffic figures?”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced last month high polluting vehicles will pay the emissions surcharge — to drive in central London.

The T-charge (T for toxic) would apply to apply vehicles with pre Euro-4 emission standards — mainly any vehicle registered before 2005, the mayor’s office claims — and they would be subject to an extra £10 per-day fee on top of the congestion charge (see story).

Mr Khan said in a written response: “TFL estimates that the following number of pre-2005 vehicles would be required to pay the £10 emissions surcharge each day:

Cars c. 6,500
Vans c. 2,000
HGVs c. 300
9+ seater vehicles c. 50

Research finds Cannon Street open space ‘most-polluted’

Research released by ASI Data Science has named Whittington Garden near Cannon Street as London’s single most polluted shared open space.

The park, claims ASI, has levels of nitrogen dioxide, which breaches Europe Union standards of 40 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the research.

This research was produced by fusing air quality data from the Greater London Authority (GLA), which provides air quality information across the city and geographical grid references, which shows where London’s open spaces are found from Green Space Information for London.

ASI also claimed that its research shows around a quarter of London’s shared open spaces have unsafe levels of pollution. These places include: Green Park, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, Clapham Common, Kensington Palace Gardens, Regent’s Park.


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