Shocking extent of London’s air pollution problems laid bare in new survey

12:20 13 October 2016

Air pollution is affecting Londoners' health

Air pollution is affecting Londoners' health


Research is ‘first of its kind’ to be carried out in the capital

The extent of the capital’s air pollution problems has been laid bare in new survey of the capital’s residents, with almost half believing poor air quality has had a negative impact on their health.

Some 46 per cent of respondents to a survey by London Councils said their health had been negatively affected by poor air quality, with asthma, breathing difficulties and coughing the most commonly cited problems.

People aged between 25 and 34, those who live in inner London, cyclists and users of public transport, and those with children, felt most affected by pollution.

Three quarters of respondents agreed that air quality is an issue in the capital, with 38 per cent strongly agreeing.

The figure rose to more than 80 per cent among those who are newer to London, those who cycle, those who use public transport and those whose health is affected by pollution.

Julian Bell, London Councils’ executive member for transport and environment, said: “This research is the first of its kind to be carried out in the capital and highlights the very real concerns many Londoners have about air pollution and its impact on their health day-to-day.

“The fact so many people reported a negative impact on their health, and concerns about the health of their children, is worrying and shows this continues to be an issue of huge significance in our city.

“Boroughs have been doing active work in striving to achieve air quality targets for several years, with many doing some fantastic work to promote the use of walking, cycling and using public transport.

“London Councils supports the Mayor of London’s plan to make this issue one of his top priorities and has backed calls a diesel car scrappage scheme, as well as increased investment in sustainable travel.

“But London cannot do this alone – government must draw up a new Air Quality Strategy and play its part in passing new Clean Air Act legislation.

“This must be fit for purpose in the modern world, and include new powers and legal protections to ensure existing air pollution limits and targets are not scrapped as a result of Brexit.”

The research, which polled 1,006 Londoners, was undertaken by TNS LondonBus on behalf of London Councils.

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