As on January 5th, 2017, London, the capital city of England, has breached its annual air pollution limit for the year… in just five days.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the city has seen various boroughs exceed its allowance for 2017 already, with Brixton Road in Lambeth leading the way, with other areas to follow.
By law, hourly levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide must not be more than 200 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 18 times in a whole year, but late on Thursday this limit was broken on Brixton Road in Lambeth.
Blimey. So, are we screwed?
Alan Andrews, a lawyer at ClientEarth – the group that successfully sued the government, and who also lives in Brixton – told the newspaper: “This is another shameful reminder of the severity of London’s air pollution and shows why the mayor has rightly made tackling it a top priority. It is absolutely essential that he now delivers on his promises and that the national government back him to the hilt.”
A spokesman for Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said:
“The Brixton Road [breach] underscores why urgent action is needed to improve air quality across London.” Mayor Khan is said to be shortly announcing 10 new low emission bus zones, including one for Brixton Road.
“But this is not enough,” said the spokesman. “The government needs to match the Mayor’s commitment to improving air quality as quickly as possible.”
Putney High Street, Oxford Street, the Kings Road in Chelsea and the Strand are other key areas that exceeded the limit last year, and are expected to do so again in 2017.