Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has issued a call for cars to be banned from roads near local schools in a bid to reduce air pollution and protect children’s health. Thus far, Mr Khan has provided funding for 50 primary schools in the most polluted parts of the city to introduce simple measures, such as relocating school entrances away from busy roads.

Speaking to the Times, Mr Khan likened today’s politicians to those in the past who knew that smoking was so dangerous but still did nothing about it to protect people’s health. “We know air quality is a killer, it makes you sick and no action has been taken. It’s a health emergency,” he explained.

Mr Khan is now keen for other boroughs to follow the good examples that the likes of the City of London and Camden have set by banning cars from roads near schools. He did note that it might be a little “simplistic and crude” to propose a ban of all diesel vehicles by the year 2025 as some major cities around the world have done, adding that some of the new diesel is in fact better than some of the old petrol.

“The reason why I’m so angry about this and it’s a priority for me is that the science and the evidence is unarguable and yet it appears the government is ignoring it,” Mr Khan went on to say.

Back in February, Mr Khan announced that there would be a new £10 toxic T-charge brought in as of October 23rd this year for the most polluting cars in London. This is actually the toughest emission standard of any city around the world, with a new online vehicle checker now added to the Transport for London website so motorists can easily check to see if they’ll be affected by the charge.

Up to 10,000 of the most polluting cars are expected to be potentially liable for the levy every weekday, applying to those drivers who have vehicles that don’t meet the Euro 4 standards, typically diesel and petrol cars that were registered before 2006.

This T-charge will be run on top of the Congestion Charge and at the same time (so Monday to Friday, between 07:00 and 18:00), so it will cost someone £21.50 to drive a pre-Euro 4 car in the city.

The latest Mercer Quality of Life Survey has just revealed that London has actually slipped down the rankings of the best cities around the world for quality of life because of its high levels of pollution and traffic. The city fell one place from 39 to 40 thanks to its heavy traffic congestion, which also helped to contribute to its low score for pollution and air quality.

It certainly seems as though action does need to be taken in the capital to help improve pollution levels and quality of air. Perhaps Mr Khan’s new measures will have a positive effect.

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This entry was posted on 15th Mar 2017
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