It’s no secret that London’s air is a silent and toxic killer. But with air pollution and climate change such hot topics; is enough really being done to improve air quality? London breached its annual air pollution limits within the first week of 2015, 2016 and 2017. These shocking statistics have kick-started government schemes and projects into action, but is it too little too late?
Out with the old, in with the CityTree
The Government have attempted to tackle the issue by initiated steep charges on high-polluting vehicles in central London. Older vehicles will now see a toxicity charge (T-Charge) alongside a congestion charge during peak congestion. London will also see an ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in a bid to create stricter emissions for diesel vehicles. London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently launched Low Emission Bus Zones, putting ‘green’ buses on the capital’s most polluted routes. Whilst these initiatives could be seen as progressive, they’re heavily transport centric. It largely punishes drivers, and the result will take many years to make any noticeable reduction in pollution. Furthermore, as online shopping continues to increase, so will traffic from businesses such as Deliveroo, Amazon, Uber. The only way to significantly reduce air pollution in our cities NOW is to install clean air filters on the streets. Action is needed, and we’ve responded by cleaning up London’s air with the ground breaking CityTree.
In 2017, 360 of London’s 1,820 primary schools were in areas where pollution breached the legal limit for Nitrogen Dioxide
Protecting London schools is claimed to be at the forefront of the mayor’s transformation plans. He’s conducted over 50 air quality audits at primary schools exceeding legal limits of nitrogen dioxide. This £1 Billion plan was set to make huge changes, but again, we haven’t seen any significant reduction in air pollution.
This begs the question; why is the central Government, local authorities and numerous investment schemes not producing innovative solutions for air pollution?
It appears the only people really benefiting from this are Transport for London, not the people of London whose health is at risk daily. Politicians, academics, experts and the media have all been screaming about air pollution for years. But all we’ve had so far is pollution monitoring, air quality index, pollution warnings and stacks of reports. Apart from TfL investing in hybrid busses, there has been no other investment by Central Government or Local Authorities. That is why there have been few technology solutions.
With no clear message being given from authorities, the UK is losing confidence rapidly. Our aim is to make positive environmental changes, producing outstanding results that can be achieved NOW.
Social Responsibility, how can the UK reduce air pollution?
Tackling climate change can seem like an uphill climb, but it’s not just down to the government and investment schemes to make changes. As a nation we have a moral responsibility to help combat air pollution together. There are some great tools that will help you to make smarter choices when you travel. The Cleaner Air Better Business project uses an interactive map of London, allowing you to put in any route and choose a low pollution walking option. Also, the clean air route finder helps you to choose the cleanest route to for your destination by choosing a more sustainable transport option.
It’s never been easier to make the right choice. You can do your bit by dusting off the bike and getting your walking shoes on. We’ve done our bit by creating an innovative solution that will help to make London green again.