London is facing a big uphill battle over air quality, after new research found parts of the capital have air pollution three times higher than the European-recommended safe limit.
The government recently filed plans to the European Commission to delay plans for air pollution improvements in 12 UK areas. However, the plans were rejected by the commission, who said that air quality must improve in these areas.
If nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels are not reduced by 2020 – or in the case of London, 2025 – the government is facing hefty fines from regulatory bodies in the European Union. Air pollution has been recognised by the government as being the second biggest public health threat, after smoking, with areas such as London being particularly exposed to high levels of NO2 and other harmful pollutants.
New research, conducted by scientists at King’s College London, found that areas of the capital were well above the European-recommended safe limit, with Putney and Brixton being identified as particularly polluted areas.