london skyline

London breaches air pollution limits for 2018

London has breached air pollution limits for the whole year, just 31 days into 2018.

The limits were broken on Brixton Road, Lambeth on 31 January. Under EU rules, a limit of 200 μg/m3 cannot be broken for more than 18 hours in a calendar year.

Last year the limit was broken by the fifth day. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan had created ‘Low Emission Bus Routes’ in an attempt to delay the breach where it was most likely – on Putney High Street and Brixton Road.

ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock said: “The Mayor has taken some bold and welcome steps to deal with London’s toxic air problem since coming to office and the later breach this year shows his policies are making a difference. But it’s still only a month into 2018 and London has breached limits for the whole year, which shows there’s much more to do. Londoners are still breathing filthy air on a daily basis.

“There are more measures coming in London but the Mayor can’t solve this problem alone. We’ve recently taken the national government back to court for a third time over air pollution. Ministers have to get a grip and show they’re serious about protecting our health by committing to real action to tackle our toxic air.”

ClientEarth took the UK government back to the High Court last week for the third time over illegal air pollution across the country. A judgment in the case is expected in the coming weeks.

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Rob Bye