Assembly calls on Mayor to reinstate LEZ plans

The London Assembly today expressed concern at Mayor Boris Johnson’s recent decision not to proceed with stage three of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

Assembly Members called on the Mayor to proceed with the plans in order to reduce air pollution and improve Londoners’ health, and help meet European air quality standards.

Proposing the motion, Darren Johnson AM, told the Assembly:

"Air pollution continues to be a really serious problem for London, causing 1,000 premature deaths every year.  We were very surprised that rather than announcing much-needed additional measures to tackle this problem, the Mayor made a reckless and irresponsible decision to backtrack on the plans. 
“Not only is he playing with the health of Londoners, but he is also undermining the government’s case to the EU that it is taking air quality seriously in a bid to avoid a £300m fine.  We must do everything possible to push forward with the LEZ."

Murad Qureshi AM, who seconded the motion, said:

"Air pollution causes almost five times the number of fatalities as road accidents, so it beggars belief that air quality is not given higher priority.  Poor air quality can significantly reduce the lung capacity of children, causes asthma and affects the quality of life of the elderly. Boris Johnson must take his public health responsibilities seriously and reinstate the third phase of the LEZ.”

The full text of the motion is as follows:

"This Assembly expresses its concern at the Mayor’s stated intention not to proceed with implementation of stage three of the Low Emission Zone in 2010. The Assembly calls on the Mayor to proceed with implementation of stage three in 2010 as originally planned, so as to improve London’s air quality and the health of Londoners, and help meet European air quality standards."

See London Assembly press release, 18 March 2009

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