Having been born and raised in West Central London and living near the Edgware Road, I have always been concerned about the high levels of air pollution rates in my local area. Each year, since 2000, Edgware Road and Baker Street have featured on the list of most polluted London sites.
As a concerned resident and Deputy Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee, I more than welcome the introduction of London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ). This scheme will see the most polluting vehicles being charged for driving in London. From February onwards, diesel-engined lorries of over 1200 tonnes in weight that fail to meet the required emissions standard will be charged to enter Greater London. From summer 2008, buses, coaches and all lorries over 3,5 tonnes will be included in the scheme. Large vans and minibuses will be covered by the LEZ from October 2010. Air pollution has many negative effects on people’s health. In London, which has the worst air pollution in the UK, an estimated 1000 premature deaths and a similar number of hospital emissions occurred as a result in 2005. The fact that 75% of Londoners support the introduction of the LEZ shows that most Londoners recognise something needs to be done to improve the air quality in our city.
For further information about the LEZ scheme you can consult the information leaflet on: