Friday 1 May 2009

London air kills 3,000 people annually (UK)

Satellite low emission zones are needed in London to reduce an estimated 3,000 pollution-related deaths in the capital each year, a London Assembly report has warned. The study has called for a number of urgent measures to improve air quality and says emissions - mainly from diesel engines - are contributing to a wide range of health problems.

Government figures estimate pollution-related health costs for the UK have reached £20 billion a year. The Assembly Environment Committee now wants London mayor Boris Johnson to look into using biofuel for all public transport and reduce bus emissions by 90%.

It also wants targeted low emission zones and electronic information panels in public areas that will relay real time pollution levels. The report also said the mayor should also look at more ways to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles in and around the capital.

Darren Johnson, Chair of the Environment Committee said: “London’s air pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Reducing air pollution is not just about improving the environment in some abstract way. Our report shows that it’s about saving lives.”

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