Mayor of Tower Hamlets joins Clean Air Day call for new petrol engine ban by 2041

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 June 2018

Traffic snarl-up at Aldgate. Picture: Joe Lord

Traffic snarl-up at Aldgate. Picture: Joe Lord


John Biggs wants to ban new vehicles with petrol or diesel engines in the next 12 years.

Even the iconic Tower Bridge is heavy with daily commuter traffic on the A100 Ring Road. Picture source: LBTHEven the iconic Tower Bridge is heavy with daily commuter traffic on the A100 Ring Road. Picture source: LBTH

That’s what the Mayor of Tower Hamlets has called for in backing the GLA’s appeal to the government to stop any more fossil-fuel engines being made for new cars and vans after 2030.

Four out of 10 East End families live in streets where pollution is more than national or EU guidelines, the mayor points out.

“They are breathing in chemicals that have a negative impact on health,” he warns. “We are doing all we can to reduce pollution, but need national joint action to stop dirty diesel fumes devastating our environment.”

It’s no wonder, with heavy lorry traffic creating pollution blackspots like the six-lane A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach, the main A13 through Limehouse and Poplar or The Highway in Shadwell with lorries, buses and cars bumper-to-bumper throughout the day.

So Tower Hamlets Council is supporting the Mayor of London’s call for action in the run-up to Thursday’s national Clean Air Day.

“The scale of air pollution in Britain warrants new legislation,” Mayor Biggs added. “So I’m backing the Mayor of London’s call to the government for investment.”

Poor air quality doesn’t respect borough boundaries, the council points out. It wants coordinated action across London to tackle pollution and “get to grips with this blight to the environment”.

It calls for an ambitious target to take polluting vehicles off the roads—but to back this up with investment in a national vehicle ‘renewal’ programme, similar to the government’s ‘scrappage’ scheme a decade ago.

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