Mayor’s poor leadership ‘could harm Londoners’ health’

Labour’s environment spokesman on the London Assembly, Murad Qureshi, has welcomed Boris Johnson’s u-turn on charging polluting vehicles to enter London, but has expressed anger at the unnecessary two-year delay the Mayor’s dithering has caused.
Boris Johnson this morning performed a u-turn on his contentious decision to suspend the roll-out of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), the next stage of which would have charged the most polluting vans and mini-buses to drive into London from October 2010. The Mayor had announced in February that the third phase of the LEZ would be suspended but today admitted it was a "useful" means of tackling air pollution and will go ahead after all in 2012 – two years later than originally planned.

Labour’s environment spokesman, Murad Qureshi, said: "This is another embarrassing u-turn for Boris, even if it is a welcome one. Because of the Mayor’s failure to take a firm decision, Londoners now have an unnecessary two-year wait to breathe more easily. We know thousands of people die prematurely every year in London because of our poor air, so this is a two-year wait we can ill afford. Boris’s dithering means van drivers have been messed around and Londoners’ health could suffer – it’s hard to see who gains from this type of weak leadership."

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