Air Quality

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-03-21
Session date: 
March 21, 2019
Reference: 
2019/6439
Question By: 
Tony Devenish
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

How is the Mayor going to improve air quality in Marylebone if Heathrow are allowed to execute their recent flight stacking consultation with up to 49 extra flights an hour?

Answers

Answer for Air Quality

Answer for Air Quality

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Officers are drafting a response.

Air Quality

Air Quality

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Heathrow’s recent airspace and future operations consultation was part of a protracted and confusing process that seemed to be intended to entrench the choices that HAL has made and is making, including banking the benefits of unrelated technology and airspace changes, that will inevitably lead to a severe worsening of noise and other impacts.

My Deputy Mayor’s response to the Heathrow airspace and future operations consultation was clear that she, and I, are deeply concerned by the proposal to allow as many as 25,000 additional annual movements on the existing two runways, especially as this would be in addition to the proposed third runway. 

Furthermore, the consultation gave no indication of how the impacts of these additional flights on the surface access network, and consequently on air quality, would be managed or reduced.

I am committed to addressing the problem of London’s toxic air and the serious health consequences that result. That is why I remain so concerned by Heathrow expansion, whether two runways or three, and the deeply flawed basis on which it is being taken forward. Even if Heathrow Airport can meet the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) targets, a third runway could result in 40,000 additional vehicles on London’s roads every day. That is why I challenged the NPS in court, with air quality central to our case.

While the legal challenge was initially unsuccessful, in a significant legal and policy win for London, compliance with air quality limits was described as the ‘reddest of red lines’ by the Court. As a result of the Mayor’s legal challenge, planning permission for a third runway must be refused if it will result in the UK’s air quality obligations being breached.

In addition to challenging the NPS, I am also taking direct action to clean up London’s air. As a result of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), we expect to see a 45 per cent reduction in NOx emissions from road transport in central London. Also as part of the ULEZ, all buses entering central London have met the strict Euro VI emissions standard from April this year. By the end of the year all double decker buses entering central London will meet an additional Hybrid standard and by 2020 all single decker buses will be zero emission at tailpipe.

Through my Air Quality Fund, I have also supported the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood. Transport for London will be investigating further measures to reduce air pollution on Marylebone Road in particular, but this task will be made significantly harder should the third runway be built.

I will continue to do all I can to ensure that a third runway at Heathrow does not undermine all am I doing to improve air quality for Londoners.