Mystery of London’s dust suppressants

Route of the dust suppressant along Marylebone/Euston Road

One of the short term measures used by the Mayor in response to EU threats of legal action and massive fines against the UK Government are dust suppressants.  This is, in essence, a form of glue applied to roads in priority locations around London with the aim of reducing the amount of dust particulates in the air around roads.  Transport for London themselves are clear that the dust suppressants, less commonly known as Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) is only a short term measure aimed at improving London’s air quality.  However, for many like myself living near these priority locations such as the Marylebone Road and Euston, we’ve been slightly mystified when and exactly where these trials have been taking place.  Following a number of questions to the Mayor, we now have some clarity and we know that the Marylebone/Euston stretch is treated during the first corridor of treatment between the hours of 9pm-6am daily.

Many, including the campaign group Clean Air for London  quite rightly argue that these trials are merely dealing with the symptoms of poor air quality in London without taking the tough decisions to deal with the route causes.  Black cabs for example are one of the biggest polluters, the roll out of hybrid buses could be stepped up and only today, a report by the Environment Committee; “Charging Ahead?”  highlights the fact that the Mayor has a considerable distance to go if he is to deliver on his aim to see 100,000 electric vehicles on the streets of London as soon as possible.

So, we may have established the route taken by the dust suppressant trial, what is less clear is where exactly the Mayor is taking us with his air quality strategy for London.