Monday, December 13, 2010

London’s Air Quality Strategy

The built up area of London (grey) extends bey...
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Clearing the air - The Mayor’s draft air quality strategy for public consultation (131 page pdf, Greater London Authority, March 2010)

Also discussed here: Air Quality (City of London)

And here: The Mayor’s backwards steps have left me with no confidence (MayorWatch, Nov. 26, 2010)

And here: London’s Cycle Superhighways (Pollution Free Cities, Oct. 14, 2010)

Key Quotes:

“In central London, 40 per cent of PM10 pollution is blown in from outside the capital. The vast majority of London is already compliant with targets for PM10, but there are a few locations in central London that are at risk of exceeding the targets in 2011 if further action is not taken”

“NO2, however, is a problem across much of inner London and around Heathrow Airport, and these areas, along with most urban areas in the UK, are exceeding targets for this pollutant.”

“The 2009 Londoner Survey1 found that pollution from traffic was one of the top environmental concerns for Londoners, second only to litter”

“around 4,300 deaths per year in London are partly caused by long term exposure to PM2.5 (which is widely acknowledged as being the pollutant which has the greatest effect on human health)”

Some of the measures underway:

  • Development of electric vehicle infrastructure

  • Congestion charging and the London Low Emission Zone

  • Smarter travel initiatives to encourage a shift to cleaner modes of transport

  • Funding and supporting car clubs (especially hybrid and electric cars)

  • Improving road maintenance (to reduce particles from road disintegration)

  • Smoothing traffic

  • Bus emissions programme..every new bus will be diesel-electric hybrid

  • London Best Practice Guidance for controlling dust and emissions from construction.

“this Strategy focuses on interventions that will reduce concentrations of PM (PM10 and the smaller fraction PM2.5) and NO2 in particular, although in most cases these interventions will result in reduced concentrations of the other five ‘local’ pollutants”

What more is needed:

  • Reducing emissions from transport: - Encouraging smarter choices and sustainable travel behaviour; Promoting technological change and cleaner vehicles; Reducing emissions from the public transport and public transport fleets; Using emissions control schemes to reduce emissions from private vehicles.

  • Targeting air quality priority locations: Adopting local measures, including trialling new processes (such as the use of dust suppressants) ; Using action days and special measures to reduce the number and length of periods of high pollution.

  • Reducing emissions from homes, business and industry; Promoting and delivering energy efficiency schemes; Using the planning system to reduce emissions from new developments; Updating and implementing best practice on construction and demolition.

  • Increased awareness of air quality issues; Improving access to information about the health impacts of poor air quality;Targeting information about poor air quality to those most at risk”

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