EU Extension on Air Quality (Supplementary) [3]

Session date: 
May 18, 2011
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


There is not time for teaching on air quality, but can I make a couple of points to see if you agree with them. The issue here is not about complying with EU regulations. The issue here is about the health of the air that London breathes. The background pollution that you keep stressing is not the unhealthy bit, it is the places where it is concentrated and prolonged that is the problem, which is why the correct approach is to target measures in central London and to take the restrictions off, if we can, in outer London where the problem is not acute. That is what we should be doing, that is what your air strategy says you are doing and I hope that when you come back you will come back with an open mind instead of ruling out what you have put in your air strategy for something that is worth looking at. The question I want you to focus on, however, is the suggestion that for a temporary period next summer, during the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, there should be put in place restrictions to get the level of pollution down. That is good for Londoners, good for the Olympics and may well save us the possibility of financial penalties through breaching the promises that you have given to the Olympic authorities. Will you consider a temporary, short-term, limited zone for central London for next summer?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for EU Extension on Air Quality (Supplementary) [3]

Answer for EU Extension on Air Quality (Supplementary) [3]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Of course. I said already that I will consider any solution. I am delighted that James has drawn my attention to the fact that the new measures we are bringing in are actually thanks to the extra funding we secured from the Government, the extra £5 million we secured to bring in the new measures; the bus retrofit, the anti-idle strategy, other measures, the dust suppressants, those are all on top of the strategy that we were already pursuing with the low carbon vehicles, with a new bus for London that will be 15% less emitting than the current hybrid busses. What I am saying was the Commission is already impressed by what we were doing. We are now doing even more. Your idea that you raised several times with us is one we will certainly look at, but at the moment I am very pleased that we are moving in the right direction and at last this body is taking action on air quality.