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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Air pollution breaches highlight the Government’s “total inability to get to grips with the issue”, says Green MEP

30 January 2018

Air pollution in London has today reached the EU’s legal limit for the whole of 2018.

EU legislation requires that the hourly measurement of toxic nitrogen dioxide must not exceed 200 micrograms per cubic metre more than 18 times in a year. However, Brixton Road has now recorded 18 breaches. Other areas of London have also breached the hourly limit – Putney High Street six times, and Marylebone Road twice so far in 2018. [1]

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, said in response:

“It’s bitterly disappointing that Brixton Road has already reached the EU’s legal air pollution limits for 2018. Even more alarming is that Putney High Street and Marylebone Road are not far behind. We need to face facts – London is in the midst of a serious public health emergency, which will lead to some 10,000 premature deaths in our city this year alone.

This is particularly unfortunate given that the Tories’ new poster boy for environmentalism, Michael Gove, has been summoned to the European Commission to explain the UK’s failure to meet the EU’s safety limits. Unfortunately, presenting Defra’s abysmal new air pollution strategy – which will allow air pollution to breach legal limits in London until 2028 – will achieve nothing except to highlight the UK Government’s total inability to really get to grips with this issue.

​​Clean air is essential for our health and should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of where they live, learn or work. I’ll continue to demand that the UK meets ambitious air pollution standards – whether it is inside or outside of the European Union.”