London mayor Boris Johnson has launched a new air quality campaign called ‘Breathe Better Together’. Over the next months, posters and radio adverts will appear giving advice on how to avoid health problems.
The campaign will include warning parents to choose less polluting routes while they take children to school and asking drivers to turn their engines when their cars are stationary for long periods. Information about pollution levels will also be available online.
This is about promoting small simple steps we can all make to help improve air quality, protect ourselves from pollutants and indeed breathe better together.
– BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON
But the campaign has been heavily criticised by his opponents on the London Assembly who think the Mayor should have done more with his plan to introduce an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone.
Today’s air quality campaign launch is over a year later than promised and amounts to one phrase on repeat – “Hold Your Breath!” Whilst this is a step forward making Londoners able to be better informed about when smog incidents occur, it’s frankly hypocritical for the Mayor to launch a campaign telling Londoners to avoid polluted streets whilst simultaneously watering down measures to tackle the problem in his own Ultra-Low Emissions Zone.
– MURAD QURESHI, LABOUR, LONDON ASSEMBLY
The Breath Better campaign is really disappointing and inadequate compared to the scale of London’s air pollution challenge. It appears to be about advising the victims of air pollution rather than the polluters. The Mayor’s small, simple steps fail to properly include action to be taken by drivers who cause the pollution in the first place.