News from Caroline Russell: Mayor urged to apply Olympic lessons to traffic reduction

05 July 2016

On the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, Caroline Russell is calling on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to ensure that his air pollution plans:

  • Bring all of London within Nitrogen Dioxide legal limits in the shortest time possible, and by 2020 at the very latest.
  • Apply the smart travel measures implemented during the London Olympics that reduced the daily number of vehicle trips. During this period commuters, businesses and the freight industry changed their travel behaviours to reduce congestion especially during peak periods. 

Caroline Russell commented:

“This anniversary is a timely reminder of the decisive action that both the Mayor and the Government needs to make to bring London’s air pollution levels within legal limits. Londoners cannot afford the type of delays and dithering that defined the previous administration.”

“Smart travel measures allowed London to successfully host the London Olympics. This helped to take vehicles off the roads and reduced pollution levels. It also inspired Londoners towards more active forms of travel such as walking and cycling. Many worked from home or commuted outside of peak periods.”

“Londoners want to breathe clean air, know how to change the way they travel and can do it now. The Mayor of London needs to apply the lessons from the Olympics. He should also scrap dirty diesels and expand the proposed ULEZ if he is to make good his vow of tackling this public health disaster.” 

Notes to editors

1) The 5th July 2016 is the 60 anniversary year of the world’s first Clean Air Act in 1956. Caroline Russell AM will be attending the Mayoral anniversary address at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

2) As a result of the travel measures implemented during the 2012 London Olympics, there were;

  • 20 per cent more cyclists on major roads and 8-9 per cent more pedestrians crossing the Thames
  • Around 57 per cent of freight operators made adaptations with most reducing their transport activity and re-timing deliveries
  • Nearly two thirds of London travellers altered their usual behaviour during the Olympics by choosing not to make at least one journey they would usually make.
  • Thames Clippers carried 44 per cent more passengers during the Olympics compared to the same period in 2011

‘London 2012 and the Transport Legacy’, London Assembly’s Transport Committee report

3) Good travel planning was a major factor in avoiding major air pollution problems during the London Olympics.

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