Air pollution is a London-wide problem and needs a London-wide solution, says Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth’s cabinet member for the environment.
In her formal submission to the TfL consultation on a new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), Cllr Brathwaite has backed the Mayor’s plans to introduce tighter restrictions on polluting vehicles.
However, Lambeth is calling for the Mayor to go further and push the boundary of the zone from the South Circular to the M25, creating a London-wide clean air zone.
Cllr Brathwaite’s response argues that poor air quality is a London-wide issue, with all of Lambeth suffering from unacceptably poor air quality. An extended boundary would ensure that Lambeth was not divided in two by the ULEZ boundary, leading to the potential displacement of polluting cars and lorries from the South Circular onto roads in the south of the borough.
Lambeth’s Labour councillors have worked closely with the Mayor on a number of initiatives. Most recently, one of the first Clean Bus Corridors in the capital was launched in Lambeth, cutting toxic air pollution on routes through Streatham, Brixton and North Lambeth by an estimated 84%. The expansion of the Santander Cycle scheme to Brixton is also set to encourage people to swap their cars for more environmentally-friendly transport.
It is estimated that 10,000 Londoners die prematurely each year due to the effects of air pollution. This is why Lambeth Labour has made the issue such a high priority. Over the last four years we have:
- Invested in cycling – delivering over ten miles of safe cycling routes, redesigning dangerous junctions and investing in hundreds of bike storage hangars
- Lobbied central government – we’ve campaigned against cuts to the Air Quality Grant, called for the introduction of a new Clean Air Act and lobbied Ministers to ensure that Brexit does not lead to a dilution of EU air quality standards
- Agreed a detailed Air Quality Action Plan containing 59 specific actions the council will take to improve air quality, including a new freight consolidation centre
- Planted hundreds of trees, installed electric charging points, expanded car clubs and launched anti-idling patrols in our town centres.
Cllr Brathwaite said:
"Air pollution is an invisible killer. We are pleased to work with the Mayor who has shown real leadership in pushing forward a range of measures to improve air quality. The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone is another important step. But while we are working hard every day to improve air quality and make our borough a cleaner and greener place to live, the Tory Government are sitting on their hands and ignoring this public health emergency. Our children can't wait for clean air."
You can read Lambeth’s submission to the ULEZ consultation here.