Pollution peril: Brixton Road already exceeded yearly harmful gas quota for 2016

Brixton Road has already exceeded the yearly acceptable quota of a harmful gas spewed out by dirty diesel engines.

Since January 1 2016, there have been 42 breaches of the European-wide legal restrictions on concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in Brixton Road.

Public Health England estimates that 112 deaths a year are connected to poor air quality in Lambeth.

ClientEarth Healthy Air Campaigner, Andrea Lee, said: “It’s shocking that, on a street used by so many people every day, year after year legal air pollution limits are broken in just a few weeks.

“This pollution, which comes particularly from diesel engines, is damaging the health of those who live, work in or visit Brixton.

“We can’t accept the government’s plans, which expect Londoners to wait until at least 2025 to breathe air that is not clogged with illegal levels of pollution.

“We need bolder action from central government, from the next Mayor of London and councils.

“Without a doubt, there need to be fewer vehicles polluting London’s streets.

“The next Mayor has to implement a bigger and better ultra-low emission zone much sooner, which will get the dirtiest diesel vehicles off our roads.

“We also need investment that gets more people using public transport and walking and cycling more.”

In 2014, Brixton Road clocked up 1,732 hours where the nitrogen dioxide levels were exceeded – even more than Oxford Street.

Under the EU legal limit, also in UK law, there should be no more than 18 instances when pedestrians and residents are exposed to levels higher than 200 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre over an hour period.

Lambeth’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, said: “The appalling air quality across central London is undoubtedly a public health crisis.

“Brixton Road is one of the worst affected areas, largely due to the numbers of buses, taxis and HGVs passing through.”

Cllr Brathwaite, has repeatedly lobbied TfL to introduce cleaner buses in the area and while progress has been seen, she wants more to be done.

“We also want to see the Ultra Low Emission Zone extended further south into Brixton and Streatham, and have warned drivers that they face fines for keeping their engine running when stopped,” she said.

“As a council we are committed to improving the air quality in Lambeth and improving the health and safety of our residents.”

Picture courtesy of Sharon Langridge, with thanks

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