Tell Sadiq to clean up our polluted air

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is consulting on his air pollution plan. But his flagship policy – the Ultra Low Emission Zone – won’t cover Crystal Palace.

Air pollution across London is -as we write – at such high levels that Sadiq is asking drivers to leave their cars at home.

This pollution causes almost 10,000 premature deaths a year across London, and is linked to asthma, cancer and dementia. You can often see the haze when you look across to town from our hill. But it’s also really bad up here.

In the summer of 2014 we measured air pollution levels around Crystal Palace and measured illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide between two and five times over healthy levels, as defined by the World Health Organisation.

See for yourself on this map. The legal limit is 40 μg/m3.

We got hundreds of local people and dozens of local businesses to back our call for cleaner buses. TfL has gradually started to extend these to our area.

The Mayor of London consulted over the summer on his general plans, and now he has launched a consultation on his detailed plans to introduce an Emissions Surcharge and an Ultra Low Emission Zone.

The latter would set tougher standards for vehicles in inner London. One of the Green Members of the London Assembly, Caroline Russell, has sent a full response if you’re really interested in the detail.

But this ULEZ is only proposed to extend as far as the north and south circular, leaving Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill, Upper Norwood, Anerley and Penge in the same old dirty zone!

What’s more, it could push more traffic out to us, as drivers seek to avoid the ULEZ.

It could, equally, help to encourage more drivers to buy cleaner vehicles, or to walk, cycle and use public transport instead of driving. That might mean our air gets cleaner even if we’re outside the zone.

Make sure you add your voice, and call for cleaner air for your neck of the woods!

Respond to the consultation here.