Construction machinery is a major source of emissions

Mayor demands more powers to cut pollution

29 September 2017

Mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for greater powers from the Government to tackle pollution from the Thames, construction machinery and the burning of fuels such as wood and coal.

While cars and other road vehicles make up half of London’s toxic emissions, the rest comes from other sources such as river traffic - but many regulations are complex and outdated.

Bulldozers, diggers and other machinery used on construction sites are the second-largest source of polluting ultra-fine PM 2.5 particles.

And traffic on the River Thames is set to grow rapidly, intensifying pollution from waterways.

In a letter sent to Environment Secretary Michael Gove on Friday, the Mayor has called for more powers for London to clean up toxic air in the capital, including:

  • Tougher enforcement of emissions limits for bulldozers, diggers and other construction machinery.
  • Simplifying the policing of waterway emissions from the Thames, with a single regulator instead of the current five
  • Reforming the Clean Air Act to set tighter emission limits for wood-burning stoves and create zones where the burning solid fuels is forbidden   

“Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them, similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles,” the Mayor said.

Measures aimed at cutting road transport emissions are some of the toughest in the world, with the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) coming into force in October targeting London’s oldest, most polluting vehicles.


Read more about work to improve air quality in London.