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Call for traffic free’ days to tackle London’s air pollution risk

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:29 05 October 2010

BORIS Johnson has revealed plans for traffic free’ days in some areas to help tackle London’s air pollution. Parts of the City Square Mile’ and congested East End of London, together with the Royal Borough, could face street closures where pollution is higher than EU limits coming in this year

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson has revealed plans for 'traffic free' days in some areas to help tackle London's air pollution.

Parts of the City 'Square Mile' and congested East End of London, together with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, could face street closures where pollution is higher than the legally-binding EU limits that come into force this year.

Levels of NO2, Nitrogen Dioxide, in East London along the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach and the

A11 at Mile End were over the maximum recommended concentration level during 2009.

But worst spot of all, according to figures just released, appears to have been in the City and in Brixton.

The Mayor was questioned at the London Assembly last week about his Air Quality Strategy and said in a reply to his namesake Darren Johnson: "You should be jumping for joy. If we cannot get the emissions down we may have to have 'traffic free' days. I would have thought you would want to toss your sweaty caps in the air about that one."

But a sceptical Darren Johnson, leading Green Party member on the Assembly, nevertheless challenged the Mayor's strategy for not reducing emissions fast enough to meet European deadlines.

He warned the Mayor: "The EU Commission has rejected the Government's plea for a deadline extension to tackle 'particulate' pollution, which means that road closures could start this summer.

"If the Commission rejects an extension for Nitrogen Dioxide, closures elsewhere could become a possibility from 2012 onwards."

The Mayor needs an additional £70-£90 million from the Government to pay for his pollution strategy.

But Darren believes even this won't be enough. He blames Boris for hyping London bus fares on January 2 which he says will literally drive commuters back onto the roads.

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A LIST of sites across London where pollution has been measured breaching EU regulations in 2009 includes hotspots in East London such as the A12 Blackwall Tunnel approach in Poplar and the A11 Mile End Road.

But far worse are places like Brixton in South London, the City and the Royal Borough, as well as some leafy suburbs further out.

Figures from London Air Quality Network below, released yesterday (Friday), are samples of a few of the worst spots for Nitrogen Dioxide emissions (EU limits in brackets).

CITY & EAST LONDON

- City, Wallbrook Wharf: 765 (18)

- Tower Hamlets-Blackwall: 63 (40ug/m3)

- Tower Hamlets-Mile End: 61 (40ug/m3)

- Hackney-Shoreditch, Old St: 59 (40ug/m3)

- Havering-Rainham: 56 (40ug/m3)

- City-Aldgate, Sir John Cass School: 55 (40ug/m3)

- Hackney-Clapton: 51 (40ug/m3)

- Redbridge-South Woodford: 50 (40ug/m3)

REST OF GREATER LONDON

- Lambeth, Brixton Road: 1,818 (18)

- Kensington & Chelsea, Earls Court Rd: 368 (18)

- Kensington & Chelsea-Knightsbridge: 346 (18)

- Lambeth, Brixton Rd: 171 (40ug/m3)

- Sutton-Wallington: 149 (18)

- Camden-Swiss Cottage: 144 (18)

- Ealing, Hangar Lane: 102 (18)

- Sutton-Wallington: 75 (40ug/m3)

- Greenwich, A12 Woolwich Flyover: 74 (40ug/m3)

- Kensington & Chelsea, Cromwell Rd: 69 (40ug/m3)

- Brent-Wembley, North Circular Rd by Ikea: 69 (40ug/m3)

- Barnet-North Finchley, Tally Ho Corner: 68 (40ug/m3)

- Hounslow, Chiswick High Rd: 68 (40ug/m3)

- Brent-Neasden: 68 (35 days max)

- Croydon-Norbury: 65 (40ug/m3)

- Ealing, Acton Town Hall: 63 (40ug/m3)

- Lewisham-New Cross: 62 (40ug/m3)

- Hounslow-Feltham: 59 ( 40ug/m3)

- Hounslow-Brentford: 58 (40ug/m3)

- Islington-Highbury, Holloway Rd: 57 (40ug/m3)

- Enfield, Bowes Primary School: 55 (40ug/m3)

- Hillingdon-Heathrow Airport (north): 51 (40ug/m3)

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