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Mayor Of London Issues High Air Pollution Alert

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, triggered a “high” air pollution for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, as London “experiences imported pollution from the continent alongside a build-up of local emissions”. This is the first “high” air pollution alert since August 2020, in which Sadiq Khan has urged everyone in London to “look after each other” by avoiding unnecessary car trips. Read on for further information on the issued alert.

It is being recommended to walk or cycle rather than drive due to the dangerous effects of air pollution. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, 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.”

Sadiq Khan is been in the mayoral office since 2016 and has been working to tackle London’s air pollution. Recent proposals to cut pollution includes a Workplace Parking Levy, “which is hoped will encourage commuters to switch away from using private vehicles to get to work or school”. This levy would charge employers for the number of parking places they provide that are regularly used by workers. The Mayor of London also wants to increase monitoring of pollution that is caused “as a result of traffic on London’s red routes, which only makes up for five per cent of the capital’s roads but sees 30 per cent of the city’s traffic”.

The founder and director of Clean Air in London, Simon Birkett, spoke to Evening Standard and said that high levels of particle air pollution in London are “expected to continue into Friday”. He said, “This episode contains local and EU emissions and residual Saharan Dust from last week. It could come and go into next week. Everyone should read the Mayor’s warning and check updates and health advice. Doing so will save lives.”

Last year’s report by Inrix named London as the world’s most congested city, so until everyone start taking precautions, advice, and follows the latest guidelines for the environment and pollution, there is no way we can all avoid high air pollution triggers such as this week’s.