London streets breach EU pollution limits say Greens

Seven sites in the city have breached the European Union's legal limits for air pollution, according to the Green Party at the London Assembly.

A report to be published by the party claims Vauxhall Cross, in Lambeth, is the most polluted area and breached daily PM10 legal limits on 129 days between January and September.

The EU’s legal limit is 35 days per year.

The party also raised concerns that the number of London sites exceeding PM10 limits has grown from one in 2000 to 11 last year.

Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: “The failure of the Government and local authorities borders on the criminal and we need the European Commission to take firm action against them.

“We have had over a decade of drift and complacency – a wasted decade in which we should have reduced air pollution down to the less damaging levels set by the European Union.”

However, environmental experts have questioned the party’s figures.

A spokesman for the King’s College Environmental Research Group, the leading provider of air quality information and research in the UK, told edie there were statistical errors in the Green Party’s report and some statements, although technically accurate, were misleading.

He said one of the main reasons the number of sites registering exceedences had increased was that more monitoring sites had been established in recent years and had naturally been sited in areas where there was a known problem.

He added: “Local authorities are doing more monitoring and they deliberately put equipment in areas that have got a problem.”

Mayor Ken Livingstone’s office said millions are being invested in public transport and alternative transport such as cycling, and cited the introduction of new emission controls on London buses and taxis.

A spokesperson said: “The Mayor shares the Green Party’s concern that air pollution needs to be tackled urgently.

“That is why the mayor is taking more radical measures than anywhere in the world to improve air quality in the capital.”

London’s most polluted sites according to Green Party report:

  • Neasden Lane – Brent

  • Erith – Bexley

  • Horn Lane – Ealing

  • Woolwich Flyover – Greenwich

  • Duncan Terrace – Islington

  • Vauxhall Cross – Lambeth

  • Baker Street – Marylebone Road

    Kate Martin

    © Faversham House Ltd 2023 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

  • Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie