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All Londoners deserve clean air

Jess Fitch's picture
car exhaust fumes

In 2019, it's estimated that over 4,000 Londoners died prematurely because of air pollution. Many parts of London have illegal levels of air pollution, and all parts exceed the World Health Organization's recommended levels. No street, playground or school in London has air that is healthy to breathe.

The poorest communities are disproportionately affected by air pollution, though they are much less likely to own or drive cars. 

These tragic and shocking facts explain why Transport for London is proposing expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone from next year.

Drivers of the most polluting petrol and diesel cars must pay £12.50 to drive in London's Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ. When it was introduced, nitrogen dioxide pollution at roadsides, which inflames the airways and worsens suffering from lung and heart conditions, decreased by 44 per cent in central London.  

But the ULEZ currently only covers inner London, and most of the deaths attributable to air pollution are in outer London boroughs. 

So, Transport for London is asking for views on expanding the ULEZ to cover the whole of the capital.

Expanding the ULEZ is urgently needed. It would encourage people to swap the most polluting vehicles for cleaner models, or walk, cycle or use public transport instead. This would help to tackle climate change and mean a healthier city for ALL Londoners. A scrappage scheme - as well as discounts and exemptions from the charge - would provide support for owners of older cars who need it most.

Live in London? Say yes to cleaner air

Our friends at climate action charity, Possible, have created an exceptionally user-friendly tool which Londoners can use to respond to the consultation in just a few clicks. 

The consultation also asks about replacing the ULEZ and the Congestion Charge in future with a smarter charge that varies by distance and vehicle emissions. This would potentially be much simpler and fairer to people making shorter journeys while still promoting cleaner air and carbon reduction.

Londoners should be able to live their lives, to walk their streets, to learn and play at school, without being exposed to poisoned air. The consultation closes on 29 July: let's say 'yes' to expanding the ULEZ.