Th air pollution limit set by the EU for the entire 2018 has already been breached by London and the people in England’s capital will be breathing in illegal levels of toxic air for the rest of the year. The law states that the levels of nitrogen dioxide can not increase above the safe limit more than 18 times per year and it has already happened on Brixton Road, Lamberth.
Even though it only took a month for London to breach the limit, it is still an improvement from last year when it only took a week. “This event is now an annual spectacle highlighting [the] government’s abject failure to tackle the toxic air cloaking our towns and cities,” said Greenpeace’s clean air campaigner Mel Evans. “The government could make a real difference very quickly by replicating London’s evidence-led approach across the country, and yet it still advocates clean air zones only as a last resort.”
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London has been trying to improve the conditions in London by introducing cleaner buses on routes that pass through the infamous pollution black spots. People driving diesel cars are also being charged to discourage the polluting vehicles but the mayor says that he can not go further than this due to restrictions by the government policies.
Some parts of London are taking it a step further and banning all petrol and diesel cars during peak communicating times. They are encouraging people to walk, cycle, and take public transport. This is going to receive a lot of pushback and it is still unsure if it will actually take place.
There are still many people who think that the government needs to take the issue more seriously than it currently is as it is already linked to 40,000 premature deaths annually. The government did plan to phase out all petrol and diesel cars by 2040 but people believe that it is too late. “The UK’s phase-out date for diesel and petrol cars should be 2030, not 2040,” said Evans.
Whether the government is taking the issue seriously or not, we can all agree on the fact that the situation has a lot of room for improvement. Let’s see what London decides to do about it.