Olympic transport plan likely to breach air quality laws

The Olympic Delivery Authority’s transport plan has put London’s air quality under the spotlight once again

The Olympic Delivery Authority’s transport plan (OTP) has put London’s air quality under the spotlight once again.

“On the basis of information provided, the OTP would lead to breaches of PM10 daily limit values, breaches of the NO2 annual mean and hourly limit values, and lead to an increase in harmful concentrations of ambient air,” said Simon Birkett, director of Clean Air in London (CAL).

“This would be unlawful and vulnerable to legal challenge through judicial review. The OTP proposal should be rejected,” he added.

His comments are based on a stakeholder consultation on the plan’s draft strategic environmental assessment.1

Darren Johnson, Green Party chair of the London Assembly’s environment committee, echoed CAL’s calls.

“The mayor needs to heed this warning by immediately introducing a very low-emission zone which only allows the cleanest vehicles to enter central London,” he said.

As chair of Transport for London (TfL) London mayor Boris Johnson assumed responsibility for key plans from the Olympic Delivery Authority on 9 February. A TfL spokeswoman insisted plans were being drawn up to ensure pollution limits were not breached.

But Mr Birkett said that while TfL and the mayor are responsible “on the face of it”, there is a distinct lack of proper accountability.

“The real issue here is that nobody is taking proper responsibility for ensuring the success of the transport arrangements for the games. While this remains the case, this travel plan is destined to be a shambles,” he said.

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