Mayor of London unveils hard-hitting air quality campaign

18 October 2017
  • Adverts featuring ‘polluted’ everyday objects launched days before the £10 T-charge
  • Images aimed at reminding Londoners of urgency of cutting pollution

With the launch of the T-charge less than a week away, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled a hard-hitting advertising campaign to underline the harm the capital’s filthy air can do to Londoners’ health and the urgent need to address the problem.

The adverts feature images of everyday objects, including a coffee cup and a baby’s bottle that appear to be covered in pollution next to a headline saying: “If you could see London’s air, you’d want to clean it too”.

They are part of the Mayor's wider commitment to lead on this issue, be honest with Londoners about the scale of the challenge and provide them with the information they need on air quality.

The campaign will appear on social media from 18 October and on posters across the TfL network from 3 November.

The striking images highlight the £10 Emissions Surcharge – or ‘T-charge’ – which comes into effect on Monday 23 October and will help remove older polluting vehicles from central London, as well as the other ambitious measures the Mayor is introducing to clean up the capital’s harmful air.

Ahead of the T-charge, the Mayor has also delivered a Cleaner Vehicle Checker, a new online tool to provide motorists with independently-tested emissions data for the vast majority of all new Euro 6 standard cars and vans on sale in the UK.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s air is a killer and is linked to asthma, strokes, heart disease and dementia. I’m committed to doing all I can to cut pollution and help Londoners protect themselves from the harm it causes.

“These arresting images are designed to show Londoners how serious a threat air pollution is to their health, and explain the range of measures I’ve brought in and am working to introduce to make our air safer.

“The next stage will be the introduction of the £10 T-charge on Monday, which will help remove the oldest, most pollution vehicles from the heart of the capital.

“I refuse to be a Mayor who ignores this and I am determined to take effective action to reduce the harm it does to Londoners.”

The Mayor recently published data which shows every borough in London exceeds World Health Organisation limits for PM2.5 – tiny toxic air particles so small they can be ingested deep into the lungs, causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer.

Since taking office, Sadiq has doubled funding to be spent on tackling air quality in London to £875 million over the next five years.

Notes to editors

  • Images used in the adverts are of a coffee cup, a glass of beer, a baby’s milk bottle and a baby’s water cup.
  • The Emissions Surcharge – or ‘T-charge’ – will come into effect on October 23 and will mean vehicles in the area will need to meet minimum exhaust emission standards, or drivers will have to pay a daily £10 charge in addition to the Congestion Charge.
  • The drivers of a vast majority of vehicles registered before 2006 will have to the pay the charge, which is a precursor to the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London.
  • The Mayor has doubled funding spent on tackling air quality to £875 million over the next five years. His plans include:
  1. Launching the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which puts in place minimum emission standards for all vehicles (excluding taxis, whose emissions are addressed through separate licensing requirements). The Mayor proposes (subject to consultation) to apply these standards in central London from 2019, which has been brought forward from 2020. They will then apply in outer London for buses, coaches and lorries by 2020 and in inner London for all vehicles except taxis by 2021 (subject to consultation).
  2. Spending more than £300 million transforming London’s bus fleet by retrofitting thousands of vehicles and a commitment to purchase only hybrid or zero-emission double decker buses from 2018 and with all buses meeting the Euro VI standard by 2020.
  3. Making sure TfL no longer licence new diesel taxis from 2018, maintaining the maximum vehicle age limit and £65 million in support to the trade to help upgrade taxis to much cleaner, ‘zero-emission capable’ vehicles.
  4. Introducing Five Low Emission Neighbourhoods (LENs) spanning eight boroughs and involving a range of local organisations, with funding for a further five business-led LENs. This is in addition to continuing the Mayor's Air Quality Fund and together these targeted actions will tackle some of the worst pollution hotspots across London, with TfL contributing £14 million.
  5. Providing alerts to Londoners during high and very high pollution episodes by issuing information on 2,500 bus countdown signs, at 140 roadside variable message signs and at 170 tube stations.
  6. Establishing a Cleaner Vehicle Checker, enabling Londoners to check the real-world emissions from a vehicle they may be considering buying.

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