Supreme Court Judgement on Air Quality in London
This Assembly welcomes the recent unanimous judgement from the Supreme Court ordering the government to submit new air quality plans to the European Commission no later than 31 December 2015.
This Assembly notes that large sections of the Capital continue to exceed both the annual mean and hourly legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and are currently projected to continue doing so until after 2030, over twenty years after the original compliance date.
This Assembly further notes that the Mayor has a duty – under the Greater London Authority Act (1999) – to bring forward policies and proposals to support the achievement of legal air quality standards in London.
This Assembly believes that further measures are needed urgently if London is to achieve compliance with health-based, legal limits and avoid the prospect of substantial fines being passed down to the Greater London Authority (GLA) under the terms of the Localism Act (2011).
This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor of London to take additional steps to ensure that the period of exceedance of air quality limits in London is kept as short as possible, and investigate potential policies that could be enacted in advance of the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Such policies should enable Transport for London (TfL) to influence purchasing and driving behaviour far sooner than currently planned while delivering a measurable benefit to the health and quality of life of Londoners.