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Air Pollution in the UK

(15 Posts)
JessM Tue 17-May-16 22:41:18

There is now strong evidence that air pollution causes damage to the lungs and leads to many premature deaths.
The EU sets legal limits on air pollution but the UK government is avoiding the issue despite the fact that there are many city areas which are in breach of the regulations.
Sadiq Khan has today revealed that Boris Johnson has been hiding an alarming report on the number of London schools that are in highly polluted zones.

Here's a website that summarises the problem:
Here's an American article on the effects on pregnant women, babies and children:

Many of us have grandchildren living in polluted areas - or maybe they have to travel to school along polluted roads. What would you like the government (and the new Mayor) to do to address this issue?

whitewave Tue 17-May-16 22:43:18

Comply with the EU ruling would be a start.

durhamjen Wed 18-May-16 00:06:42

I'd like the new mayor to find out exactly what Boris has or hasn't done, and take him to court over it.
That'll get rid of another problem, too.

whitewave Wed 18-May-16 07:24:44

It seems to me that where a problem doesn't match with the Tory world view they simply side step the law and act illegally or try to change it. The expenses fraud is one example. The air quality and nom-compliance is another - it is all of a piece Learned no doubt as members of the Bullungdon club who regularly trashed premises of eating establishments and taking part in other morally questionable things. Their world is not our world thank goodness.
Clearly covering up has been very successful in the past but perhaps social media is finally shining a light

JessM Wed 18-May-16 09:27:03

"Green rubbish" and "interference by the EU" maybe. And of course there are powerful business lobbies at work - car manufacturers, petrochemicals etc.

But if you were on Khan's team (or the mayor of one of our other polluted cities) what measures could you take locally and what measures should we be taking nationally?
I will start the ball rolling with a suggestion for Sadiq - pledging to replace London buses with electric models - he is of course in charge of Transport for London so this is a policy he could initiate. I think he would also need to SCRAP the old diesel buses. You see some shockers on the school bus run around the country. This would probably be fraught with other difficulties (do such buses exist? How long can they run without re-charging?) So other measures would be needed as well.
What else could T for L change?

durhamjen Wed 18-May-16 22:18:13

This is what Khan is going to do; extend the clean air zone, so no heavy goods vehicles come inside the North Central or South central roads; only allow zero emission or hybrid buses from 2018; have a diesel scrappage scheme.

JessM Thu 19-May-16 09:11:06

Or what he wants to do anyway. Hope he is not blocked by the transport lobby.

moleswife Thu 19-May-16 11:25:31

Sadiq Khan could also put a stop to more road building (like the proposed Silvertown Tunnel: ( ) new roads don't ease congestion they just induce more traffic to make new journeys. Plans for the expansion of thd M60 proved to be more damaging than the Highways Agency could agree to: So what's wrong with the London Mayor putting health and well being before the profit of a few?

nipsmum Thu 19-May-16 14:15:54

Get rid of so many lorries on our roads and go back to heavy transport being done by railways as they used to be.

patriciageegee Thu 19-May-16 15:16:51

What to do to tackle the problem appears to be a herculean task not only from the perspective of too too many vehicles on the roads coupled with a pathetically under funded and neglected public transport system but also the mindset of a large percentage of the population. It seems nearly everyone nowadays is over privileged with a vastly over- developed sense of entitlement. Everyone is a special case, the need of the individual is far more important than the common good the individual of course! I think even us gransnetters are guilty of thinking this way at times but really, it has to stop! Our conspicuous consumption society of the past 40 years is becoming deadly. We all need to be vocal and take a stance whenever we can - even at the risk of being branded moaning old buggers. We all need to actually DO our bit. Where's the blitz spirit when we need it?smile

lizzypopbottle Thu 19-May-16 18:26:52

Every urban area has air pollution. It's not just London. Getting people out of their cars and walking would make a little dent in it. I agree that reinstating and improving the railways would help. They should abandon HS2 and spend the money on that.
Sadiq Khan could offer an incentive to stop London people paving over their gardens for parking and reinstate trees lining roads. Trees have been shown to reduce air pollution which is inside your house as well as outside. I saw a TV programme that proved it where they swabbed and analysed the dust from TV screens to measure the deposits from air pollution with and without trees outside the houses.

durhamjen Thu 19-May-16 18:53:31

When I lived in York, there was a plan to have all the lorries stop at the lorry parks on the outer ring road, then offload to low emission smaller vehicles to take the goods to where they were needed in the city centre.
Residents thought it was a good idea, but businesses did not. I've just checked and it seems businesses won.

I do hope Sadiq Khan can do something similar for London, just to show it is possible.
The street where my doctor's surgery was on in York has the second highest concentration of nox. The highest is the canopy next to the railway station!

JessM Thu 19-May-16 20:50:09

I was impressed when walking thought the centre of Manchester last year, at rush hour, that there is relatively little car traffic on the road and a new tram system efficiently supplementing the existing bus and train services. I assume that there is a limited amount of parking to discourage people from bringing cars into the centre. Strong strategic vision by the city council is obvious.

durhamjen Thu 19-May-16 21:16:09

Haven't been there for years, Jess, even though my eldest granddaughter lives in Salford. Maybe it's time I went.

JessM Fri 20-May-16 09:52:36

I hadn't been there for a long time either Jen . Used to live "up 'o'dam" = in Oldham when DS2 was a baby.
It has changed a lot and is very impressive these days - the main inspiration for all this "northern powerhouse" talk.