Following a formal request for information from the campaign group Clean Air in London, the Mayor of London has now released data revealing the extent of air pollution on the capital’s busiest roads.
Green Party Assembly Member Jenny Jones has used the information to create an interactive map covering the whole of East London, enabling residents look up emissions from the busiest roads near their post code.
In Hackney the five worst contenders are the Eastway (A106), the East Cross Route (A12), Shoreditch High Street (A10), City Road (A501) and Seven Sisters Road (A503).
The map shows the extent to which the health of Londoners is being endangered by diesel vehicle emissions, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) states causes cancer.
Jenny Jones said: “Londoners can now see for themselves the extent of air pollution on the busiest roads in their local area – the Government and the Mayor have tried to play this problem down, but the impacts on human health can be severe.
“The Mayor could and should be doing so much more to tackle this problem but under his watch London failed to meet EU air quality standards in 2011 and is set to continue breaching legal limits until 2025.”
The Mayor has a statutory duty to produce a strategy for improving London’s air quality.
Ms Jones is calling for more electric vehicles, especially buses and vans – but believes the simplest solution is to reduce the total amount of traffic on the roads.
She also thinks and improved cycle safety and lower public transport fares would encourage people to ditch their cars.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said “strenuous efforts” are being made to improve air quality.
“Since the Mayor took office, emissions of dangerous particulates (PM10) have fallen by 15 per cent and of oxides of nitrogen by 20 per cent thanks to an ambitious package of measures including building Europe’s largest fleet of low emission hybrid buses, retiring the oldest taxis and introducing tighter emission standards for lorries and vans.
“He has just announced £5.4m for the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund which will help to reduce emissions at many of the locations where pollution and human exposure is highest, this includes funding specifically to help improve air quality in Hackney.”
To view the map go to www.howpollutedismyroad.org.uk.