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London’s air pollution hotspots revealed

Analysis of 1.5 million pieces of data from the London Mayor’s office, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, have revealed the capital’s dirtiest roads.

The worst roads in London for air pollution have been revealed as the A406 (North Circular), the A282 (Dartford Crossing and the A13 (Commercial Road), by campaign group, Clean Air in London (CAL).

Northern Cicular on a misty morning-or is it smog?-probably the latter

Twelve regulated pollutants from vehicle exhausts, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, particulates and carbon monoxide, were assessed, to reveal the capital’s pollution hotspots. According to CAL, some of the the worst roads are suburban and residential streets such as Reigate Hill and Twickenham Road.

Popular shopping destinations including Brompton Road and Oxford Street are also among the worst affected. Those living near busy roads, often the poorest people are also disproportionately affected by the air pollution, which is linked to health problems including respiratory disease, heart attacks and even cancer.

Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, said:  “Clean Air in London hopes campaigners, local authorities and others will challenge the Mayor where claimed emission reductions, based on computer modelling, have not been reflected in reductions in concentrations of regulated air pollutants reported by monitoring equipment.

“People can protect themselves by walking down less polluted roads and reduce pollution for themselves and others by walking or cycling or using public transport rather than driving a diesel car. For indoor air quality, people can ask if buildings with mechanical ventilation use regularly maintained air filters that comply with British and European standard EN 13779.

“Ultimately, the only answer is for London to eliminate completely deadly diesel exhaust from the most polluted parts of London by 2020. By doing so, London can lead the way in Europe and elsewhere in innovation and creating a successful, truly balanced economy.”

The campaign group has released a new app too, the ‘Clean Air in Cities Index App’ which reveals the health impact of long-term exposure to air pollution (PM2.5) on the population in local areas, regions and England as a whole. 

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Faye Sunderland

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