London’s air quality ‘best in 10 years’

London’s January air quality is within legal limits for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said.

The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide by 6 January every year for the last decade.

So far this year, London’s NO2 has not exceeded limits, although it is likely to soon, Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that despite recent progress there is still more to do.

A recent NO2 study found Marylebone Road and Hyde Park Corner were the most polluted postcodes in Britain.

The Mayor attributes the cleaner air in part to the introduction of Low Emission Bus Zones and the T-Charge for dirtier cars in central London.

A Defra spokesman said: “While we have come a long way since 2010, we recognise there is more to do which is why we have put in place a £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

“We will also end the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “At long last we are seeing some improvements in our toxic air. But I can't stop this health crisis without more help.

“Londoners deserve a government that wakes up to the scale of this problem and delivers tough new air quality legislation so that legal limits are met all year round.”

Oliver Hayes, Friends of the Earth clean air campaigner, said: “The windy start to 2018 is likely to have had as much to do with the reduced number of pollution spikes as anything else, but it's clearly good news for Londoners that their air isn't as filthy as usual this January.

"However, with the entire year's quota of pollution breaches due to be used up within the month, London's pollution can at best be downgraded from diabolical to terrible.

"The Mayor has introduced several good initiatives but much more needs to be done.”

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