Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [7]

Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Question By: 
Stephen Knight
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Mr Mayor, in response to my request, you earlier said that your measures, including the ULEZ, would ensure compliance in London with the European Union (EU) legal limits by 2020.  Mr Mayor, that was not quite accurate, was it, because your own ‑‑

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  For nitrogen dioxide, I said.

Stephen Knight AM:  Yes, for nitrogen dioxide.  Your own document, which I have in front of me here, says, and I quote, roughly, “This takes us two-thirds of the way to compliance with EU legal limits for nitrogen dioxide”.  The truth is that the measures you have in this document do not deliver nitrogen dioxide compliance across London by 2020.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  They assume that the Government ‑‑

Stephen Knight AM:  In fact, as shown by the table on page 37, even by 2025, 15 years after these limits are supposed to be complied with, your own plans do not show us compliant in central London with nitrogen dioxide legal limits.  Is it not time you did more, Mr Mayor?


Answer for Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [7]

Answer for Oral Update on the Mayor's Report (Supplementary) [7]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Actually, the achievement in halving the limits by 2020 will be very considerable and it will be done by all the expedients that you are familiar with in the ULEZ.  Unless they are Euro 6 compliant, diesel vehicles more than six years old will not be allowed into central London without paying another charge, probably about £12.  That will be very difficult for people.  I am already getting ‑‑ 

Stephen Knight AM:  Mr Mayor, this list of measures that you have ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Could I just finish my answer?  Would you mind if I ‑‑ 

Stephen Knight AM:  ‑‑ introduced, it acknowledges, it does not get us to legal compliance.  Is it time you did more than this list and added measures to your list? 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, it is time, but what certainly should happen is that the Government or the European Union or whoever should accept responsibility for the huge failure of public policy that enabled millions of people to buy diesel vehicles in good faith, thinking that they were doing the green, clean thing.  We can get two-thirds of the way there, but what we are saying to the Government and to the EU is, “We need your help to get the rest of the way there and, frankly, it is your fault”, because they totally failed to take proper account of the effectiveness of the Euro 4 and Euro 5 converters.  That failure of public policy needs recompense.  We need support in London for that failure. 

However - and this is my point - even if we do not get it, it would be a great shame if we did not, but we will be able to halve nitrogen dioxide and roughly to halve PM10s and PM2.5s.  That is revolutionary.  London will be leading the way with ultra-low emissions.  We will have all new taxis, as you know.  There will be zero tailpipe as well ‑‑ 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Could I stop you there?  We have not even reached the questions on the priority order paper yet and they are stacking up.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  As you know, I can go on for ages about this.  The ULEZ will be a very significant step forward.