According to a recent report pollution from London’s buses are making the air worse.
Professor David Begg, former chairman of the Government’s Commission for Integrated Transport, found some routes were now “close to walking speed” as they pushed more toxic fumes into the air.
One of the worst routes averaged at just 4mph at peak times. Professor Begg said the main cause of the extra pollution was that worsening gridlock had caused bus fuel efficiency to drop by more than a third since the millennium.
He continued: “Stop-start conditions caused by congestion are a key factor (and) lower operating speeds are bad for pollution. Congestion dramatically increases carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. Under heavily congested conditions tailpipe emissions can be increased by a factor of three or four times.” *
Professor Begg’s report follows World Health Organisation findings that London is among the worst capitals in Europe for toxic air. London’s concentration of PM2.5 microgrammes per cubic metre is about a third higher than New York and Copenhagen and on a par with Athens.
The WHO said that PM2.5 – which contains pollutants such as sulfate, nitrates and black carbon – poses a grave risk to human health.
* source: The London Evening Standard
RESPRO® MD Harry Cole comments: “Poor air quality is a serious concern for all who cycle, motorcycle or just walk in the busy streets of our major cities and towns. The negative effects of air pollution on health are significant and it would follow that those who are in close proximity to car exhaust fumes, gases and invisible sub-micron particles on a regular basis should take preventative measures were they can.”
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