MEP calls for urgent cleanup of Londonís dirty air

London's Air Quality Breaches EU Rules

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Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP
Liberal Democrat MEP for London

Tel: 020 7288 2526

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Hounslow Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford, a founder supporter of campaign group 'Clean Air in London' and a long time campaigner for cleaner air in the capital has met European environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik to talk about air quality in the city.

Clean Air MeetingThe meeting was organised by Clean Air in London director Simon Birkett. It was also attended by London Assembly members including LibDem Mike Tuffrey and representatives of environmental NGOs such as Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Environmental Protection UK.

Commenting after the meeting, Sarah Ludford said:

“London’s shocking air pollution is a real health threat – and Horn Lane in Acton is a case in point. With its high levels of both Nitrogen Dioxide and tiny particulate matter (PM10) pollution that breach the ‘safe’ upper limits for these pollutants as set out by EU legislation, Acton residents desperately need the government and the Mayor to take action to protect their health in line with the EU laws we signed up to.”

"Because London's poor air quality breaches EU rules, the UK government could soon find itself in court and paying a big fine if it does not take action. It is very disappointing that it has got to this. I urge environment secretary Caroline Spelman and Mayor of London Boris Johnson to spend that money instead on investment - such as Mike Tuffrey's proposed scrappage scheme for old diesel vehicles - to clean up London's atmosphere."

“This meeting was an important opportunity to impress on Commissioner Potocnik just how bad air pollution is in London so he ensures that European clean air laws the UK agreed to a decade ago are properly enforced in our city."

Last month Ealing Central and Acton MP Angie Bray (Con) secured a Westminster Hall debate on the topic of Horn Lane pollution, which has been shown to have the highest levels of air pollution in the capital.  Ms Bray raised the topic directly with Government Minister Richard Benyon, MP, calling for tougher enforcement of pollution levels at the site.  According to Angie Bray's website, she received 'positive feedback' from the Minister, who agreed that improvements need to be made with regard to enforcement, and that operators on the site must take suitable meausres to better improve air quality and monitor levels of pollution.

And London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi (Lab), and Chair of the Environment Committee, says the Horn Lane pollution issue will be raised within the London Assembly in the summer. "We're not just focussing on Central London - our goal is to launch  programme looking into air pollution in West London suburbs too."

February 7, 2011