The Mayor of London is consulting on his plans to improve air quality in London – with proposals that directly affect Brixton Hill.
From next year the Mayor is already introducing an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for central London, forcing drivers of the dirtiest vehicles to pay a surcharge that will hopefully deter them from driving in central London or, better still, incentivise them to replace their vehicles with cleaner ones. This is a year earlier than originally pledged.
Now the Mayor is proposing tougher standards for the whole of London to come in by 2020 – while not as tough as the ULEZ, it will mean all of London will see benefits by reducing the number of polluting vehicles coming into the city. The proposals are projected to lead to a 30% reduction in NOx levels in inner London including our area by 2021.
Sadiq Khan is also proposing to extend the ULEZ to the South Circular, meaning that it would cover the whole of Brixton Hill. Light vehicles which do not meet these standards would need to pay a daily charge of £12.50 in order to drive in the ULEZ. This is very welcome news and we urge residents to respond to the survey to signal support for these plans so that Brixton Hill air can improve.
The current proposal is for the extension to cover Brixton Hill to start in October 2021. In our response to the consultation, Brixton Hill’s Labour councillors have said that we want the extension to come in earlier and not wait over three years for these crucial measures that could be improving health and quality of life and reducing pollution around our schools and homes.
You can read the whole plans here. To have your say, you must do so by 28 February 2018 using the online survey.
As you may have spotted on Brixton Hill’s bus stops, Sadiq Khan’s Low Emission Bus zone between Brixton and Streatham has come into force. It means only the cleanest types of buses will be used by Transport for London down Brixton Hill.
The zone is only the second in London and was brought in by Mayor Khan after Brixton Hill’s councillors campaigned about the quality of the air in the local area, which has seen rising pollution and unsafe amounts recorded at local schools. Almost 10,000 premature deaths in London each year are estimated to arise from air pollution.
Now that the clean bus corridor is in place, we will continue to campaign for other measures to reduce air pollution, including more tree planting, smarter logistics for delivery companies and the extension of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone to the South Circular.
Thursday 15 June is the first National Clean Air Day. Lambeth is supporting this by hosting its first ever Clean Air Week, starting today.
There are things going on every day, including the launch on Monday of our ‘Better Air’ campaign. The focus of the campaign will be on lobbying central government and the Mayor of London for the measures we need to improve London’s appalling air quality. We will raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution and encourage residents to do their bit to help the environment. A full list of the activities taking place is available here.
A key strand of the campaign will be the launch of our ‘Better Air Pledges’. We are asking residents to think about how they can do something to help air quality and there are a few things you can do:
- Make an online pledge – pledging to make differences in your life to reduce air pollution.
- Support us on social media – tweet or share something on Facebook about your pledge using #BetterAir. Include a photo or video in your tweet so you can join our gallery of supporters. Or tell us what you’re doing for #CleanAirWeek. You can also retweet @Lambeth_Council where they’ll be posting tweets throughout the week.
- Share this Lambeth Council page and encourage others to make a pledge too.
We’ve achieved some real successes over the last couple of years – including an ambitious Air Quality Action Plan and a clean bus corridor from Brixton to Streatham including Brixton Hill – but we still have a lot to do. Please get behind the campaign so we can continue to build support for our efforts to improve Lambeth’s air.
The campaign group, Lambeth for a Cool Planet, is organising a “Walk for Clean Air” down Brixton Hill on Sunday 13 September.
The A23 through Streatham and Brixton has some of the worst levels of air pollution in the country – annual EU limits for Nitrogen Dioxide had already been reached by mid-January 2015. Air pollution affects lung development in children and has many negative health effects, especially for older people, those with asthma, and those living or working near roads. About 9,500 premature deaths in London each year are attributed to air pollution.
Brixton Hill’s councillors were part of a group of councillors who wrote to the Mayor of London demanding that heavily polluting buses through the area are replaced as an important way to help deal with the issue. We were pleased that several routes will now be upgraded to cleaner buses. The 109 will be most improved by the changes, getting the new Euro VI which reduces polluting nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 95%. The 333 will have a new vehicle that will reduce NOx by around 50 per cent. But there is much more to be done, locally and as part of a Londonwide response.
The campaigners are meeting at 2pm this Sunday at the top of Rush Common (just below Holmewood Road) and walking to Windrush Square, Brixton. The event is listed on Facebook.