Sadiq Khan launches plan to extend London’s ultra-low emission zone at Netley Primary School
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The mayor of London announced plans to extend London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) during a visit to Netley Primary School in Euston this morning (Friday).
Sadiq Khan’s scheme, which will see the most polluting vehicles charged for entering central London from April next year, will be extended to the North Circular and South Circular roads in 2021.
This means the zone stretches north of Muswell Hill and Alexandra Palace and as far west as Brent Cross.
Campaigners have been calling on City Hall to introduce measures that will improve the health of Londoners at risk of air pollution – in particular, schoolchildren.
The new zone will operate on top of the congestion charge, and drivers within the area covered using non-compliant vehicles will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
The mayor will also tighten the grip on the most polluting buses, coaches and lorries across the whole of London from October 2020.
“This scheme is so important for areas like Camden,” said Mr Khan. “The air quality in London is a crisis, which leads to thousands of premature deaths, children having underdeveloped lungs and adults having all sorts of problems from dementia to heart problems.
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“People in Camden will see a big improvement when we fix the air.”
As part of the scheme’s unveiling, the mayor spent time talking to Netley schoolchildren on the dangers of air pollution.
Bavaani Nanthabalan, executive head of the school in Stanhope Street, said: “We are living and breathing in an area where air pollution is significant. It is a concern for parents here as we have a number of children with asthma and although we want to offer the best education, we also want the children to be healthy as well.
“With the kind of construction taking place around this area, they are more exposed to pollution, so we need to think about what the impact is going to be on the future.”
Mr Khan also announced Netley would be one of the first schools in the capital to take part in a new study looking into the health benefits of reducing toxic air pollution.
A team of researchers from Queen Mary, University of London, will monitor the air pollution to which each child has been exposed over four years and find out if improving air quality encourages children to spend more time exercising outdoors.
The ULEZ launch came hours after Westminster City Council threw a spanner into the works of Mr Khan’s plan to clean up London’s filthy air.
The town hall last night unexpectedly withdrew its support for pedestrianising Oxford Street – something that had already been backed by every 2016 mayoral candidate, a public consultation, and the council itself.