London’s air quality kicked into the long grass

The criticism follows an announcement from the Mayor that he intends to create the world’s first ultra Low Emission Zone in central <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>.  However, the announcement included a retraction on phase 5 of the LEZ which was announced two years previously.  

Labour Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said:

“Today, the Mayor announced his wish list and shifted the responsibility of tackling poor air quality on to local authorities and his successor in 2016. The plans were announced as part of his “2020” vision and therefore most of what he announced won’t take affect for another seven years.

“The Mayor claims that since 2008 emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 have been reduced by 15 per cent and emissions of NOx have been reduced by 20 per cent but these figures are computer modelled estimates of what comes out of tail pipes[1]. What matters is what we actually breathe and the fact is <city w:st=”on”>London</city> has the worst gaseous air pollution of any capital city in <place w:st=”on”>Europe</place>[2].

 “<city w:st=”on”>London</city> is among the very worst cities in <place w:st=”on”>Europe</place> for air pollution and as a result over 4000 lives are lost prematurely every year in this city. Not only has the Mayor fundamentally failed to address this problem during his five years in office, he has now kicked the issue into the long-grass so that someone else can deal with it".



  1. Murad Qureshi is a Londonwide Assembly Member and the Labour spoke person for Health and Environment for the London Assembly Labour Group.

  1. An estimated 4,267 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to airborne pollution[3]. The proportion of deaths attributable to air pollution is higher in every <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> borough than the national average of 5.6%. Outside of the City of <city w:st=”on”>London</city>, the worst records are in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city> and Kensington & Chelsea, where air pollution accounts for 8.3% of deaths. In Ealing, 7.2% of deaths are attributable to particulate air pollution, while in Hillingdon the equivalent figure is 6.5%[4].

For further information please contact Nikki Salih on 020 7983 4400. Number not for publication.

[1] The Mayor has refused an environmental information request from Clean Air in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> to substantiate his 15% and 20% claims.


[3] “˜Air pollution leads to premature deaths of more than 4,000 Londoners a year’, The Guardian, Wednesday 30 June 2010

[4] The Network for Public Health Observatories, Public Health Outcomes Framework Data Tool, Fraction of mortality attributable to particulate air pollution

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