Mayor of London doubles air quality funding

The Major of London has said he will double funding to improve London’s air quality. Sadiq Khan announced £875 million of spending over the next five years ahead of the […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Major of London has said he will double funding to improve London’s air quality.

Sadiq Khan announced £875 million of spending over the next five years ahead of the draft publication of Transport for London’s (TfL) business plan later this week.

That’s an increase from £425 million the previous Mayor allocated to tackle the air pollution crisis.

Around 9,400 deaths in the city each year are attributable to poor air quality. London doesn’t meet Nitrogen Dioxide limits and 474 schools are in areas with pollution levels deemed harmful to human health.

The funding will be used to launch the world’s first Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) by as early as 2019, which could cost up to £610 million.

Other initiatives include an emissions surcharge to remove old, heavily polluting vehicles from the city centre, setting up five Low Emission Neighbourhoods and tackling the worst hotspots through the Air Quality Fund.

The mayor plans to also phase out diesel buses and replace them with hybrid or zero-emission buses from 2018.

Mr Khan said: “With nearly 10,000 Londoners dying early every year due to air pollution, tackling poor air quality is a public health emergency that requires bold action. I want London to be a world leader in how we respond to the challenge of cleaning up our air.”