Sadiq Khan urges drivers to avoid ‘unnecessary’ car journeys over ‘toxic’ air rates

Sadiq Khan's ULEZ expansion is 'appalling' says Norris

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The Mayor of London has triggered a “high” air pollution alert this week as London experiences “imported pollution from the continent” alongside a build-up of local emissions. This is the first “high” pollution alert that Sadiq Khan has issued since August 2020, and has urged drivers to leave their cars at home if journeys are “unnecessary”.

Despite London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, air pollution is still a real issue in London, which is said to contribute around 9,400 extra deaths per year.

In a statement, Sadiq Khan, said: ”Toxic air is extremely dangerous for Londoners – and I’m doing everything in my power to tackle it.

“Today we have seen the capital experiencing high levels of air pollution and are expecting this to continue for two days.

“For this reason, I am issuing a ‘high’ air pollution alert from today until Thursday.

“I’m urging Londoners to look after each other by choosing to walk, cycle or take public transport, avoiding unnecessary car journeys, stopping engine idling and not burning wood or garden waste, all of which contributes to high levels of pollution. 

“This is particularly important in order to protect those who are more vulnerable to high pollution.

“While this alert is in place people with heart and lung problems should avoid physical exertion.”

According to London Air, current air pollution rates in the capital are at a “moderate level”.

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On many major roads, however, levels do reach up to level nine, which London Air categorises as “high”.

At the beginning of March, the Mayor announced proposals for an expansion to the ULEZ charging area to include all of London.

Under the current scheme, drivers of older, more polluting vehicles are being charged to enter London’s north and south-circular orbital roads.

New proposals will see the scheme extend to the edges of London’s boroughs in 2023, with Sadiq Khan saying there was “no more time to waste”.

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