New network of air pollution sensors across London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new network of sensors at key locations across the capital as part of his Breathe London air quality monitoring project.

It means that hospitals, schools and businesses across London will be able monitor levels of air pollution in their local area, after it was announced that more than 100 sensors to be installed at priority locations next year.

For the first time, Londoners will also be able to ‘buy in’ to the network at a low cost and host sensors in locations of their choice. This will revolutionise Londoners’ access to reliable data including for community groups, charities, businesses, individuals, academics and boroughs. This will significantly reduce the costs of sourcing reliable air pollution data for local projects or schemes like School Streets. Community groups and charities will be able to access the service at a discounted rate.

The new network will have a community focus and complement London’s existing, highest quality, reference grade monitors - most of which are owned and funded by London boroughs.

Khan launched the Breathe London project in January 2019, making it affordable to access reliable air quality data for the first time. It has just received backing to run for another four years.

Khan said: “This is a major milestone for our world-leading Breathe London sensor network. Giving Londoners the opportunity to see the levels of pollution in their local area will improve awareness and help people reduce their exposure. It will also help City Hall, TfL and the boroughs better target efforts on improving air quality for all. As we face up to the current climate emergency, I hope the success of this scheme will act as a blueprint for cities around the world to battle their own toxic air emergencies.

“The onset of coronavirus - a vicious serious disease - has reminded us how important our work to clean up London's toxic air is. It requires bold and innovative action and we can't win this battle alone. This is why I have consistently demanded that the government match my ambitions and improve the new Environment Bill to include legally binding WHO recommended limits to be achieved by 2030, and to give cities the powers and funding we need to consign air pollution to the history books once and for all.”