New figures revealed breaches of poor air quality across the capital

Poor air quality in Central London

At yesterday’s Health & Environment Committee we were supplied with the latest information on breaches of harmful air pollution around London in a briefing from Kings College.

Research at 100 monitoring sites around London found limits for harmful NO2 were being breached at the vast majority of locations close to roads, with the worst pollution levels -some three times the limit to be found in Putney and Brixton.  The NO2 limits were also breached at five locations further away from main roads in both inner and outer London and close to Heathrow as well.

All this after the EU refused the UK air pollution reprieve on NO2 in twelve areas in the UK.  A judgement will be made at a later date on government plans to delay meeting NO2 standards in major cities like London till well after 2020. Going by what the Kings College briefing on NO2 emissions in 2011 showed, there is very little chance of us getting there very soon with EU limits and even more pointless attempting to get a reprieve in the meantime.  

The research also found that the problem with PM10 were less severe but nonetheless two kerbside and three roadside plus one industrial monitoring  sites were regularly exceeded.  So all these figures are a reminder that our capital has a long way to go before it meets the limits devised to protect the public’s health.