Campaign slams Olympic ‘failure’ on pollution

A coalition of cross-party MPs and environmental industry experts have called for the construction of the London Olympics site to be cleaner.

The group said the Olympics organisers should reduce harmful emissions from construction machines used on the site of the Games by at least 85%.

This could be achieved if the project follows London’s Best Practice Guidance on emissions from construction, air pollution experts said.

The Olympic Delivery Authority had pledged to follow the guidance in its Sustainable Development Strategy.

Twenty-five MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling on the Olympic site and other major construction projects to cut their emissions, and their calls are being backed up by leading experts in the transport pollution control industry.

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) raised concerns that although construction on the Olympics site in East London is now well underway, they have seen no evidence that the anti-pollution measures are being implemented.

Danny Stevens, policy director at the EIC, said: “London is supposed to be a showcase for the world, demonstrating that it can put on the greenest Olympic Games to date.”

He added: “Implementation of the Guidance will help ensure that the construction of the Olympics has a minimal impact on the health of local people.”

The group has also written to London Mayor Boris Johnson, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, and Lord Coe, chair of the London 2012 Organising Committe.

Poor air quality is currently estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of seven to eight months, hitting children the elderly and those in poor health particularly hard.

Kate Martin

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