Ellie Ames 12 March 2024

City Hall hails ‘dramatic’ air quality improvements

City Hall hails ‘dramatic’ air quality improvements image
Image: Henry Franklin / Shutterstock.com

Air quality in the capital has improved ‘much faster’ than in the rest of the UK because of policies introduced by the London mayor, according to a report.

The Greater London Authority report says average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in London fell by 49% between 2016 and 2023.

In the rest of England, NO2 concentrations dropped by 35% – and by 39% in Scotland, 31% in Wales, and 27% in Northern Ireland.

City Hall said mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘policies have driven London's air quality to improve faster than the rest of the UK’.

It listed these policies, which include introducing the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) in 2019 and expanding it last September, improving Transport for London’s bus fleet, and supporting the delivery of nearly 19,000 electric vehicle charge points.

The mayor’s office also said ‘preliminary figures’ indicate that London NO2 levels were the lowest on record in 2023.

However, there are still five air quality monitoring sites in the capital that exceed NO2 legal limits, and air pollution levels in London will continue to exceed World Health Organisation guidelines in 2025 and 2030.

A spokesperson for the mayor told the BBC that a report assessing the expansion of ULEZ to outer London would not come until after the mayoral election.

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