Evening Standard letter: Capital's bad air is no surprise but Square Mile is fighting back

[REF: ‘Toxic London’, Joe Murphy, Evening Standard, p1, 05 March 2015]

It is no surprise to read that the UK’s top 50 air pollution hotspots are found in London. Dirty air is responsible for around 4,000 premature deaths in the capital annually and diesel – which was sold as an environmental solution – is a major cause.

Here in the Square Mile we are taking a number of measures to fight back. This month we’re teaming up with Global Action Plan to target idling engines in the Square Mile, which causes unnecessary pollution. We have introduced a 20mph speed limit to reduce acceleration and particulate matter, and created our CityAir phone app to give Londoners pollution alerts and cleaner travel routes when air pollution is high.

These measures support the Mayor of London’s reform proposals but we still need to do more to reduce pollution from diesel vehicles. In particular, government funding is urgently needed to finance the replacement of diesel taxis with cleaner models.

Wendy Mead
Chairman, Environment Committee, City of London Corporation