London mayor Boris Johnson has received £5m of emergency funds from the Department for Transport (DfT) to improve air quality.
The funding, announced on 4 April, follows the European Commission’s decision to delay London’s deadline for meeting the daily limit on coarse particulate (PM10?) levels to 11 June.
The commission’s decision requires a short-term action plan be drafted to ensure London meets the limit after the deadline.
Measures will be targeted at the most blighted areas. They include redeployment of the cleanest buses and laying down dust suppressant (ENDS Report 430, p 26). Other steps include travel plans for local firms and a ‘no idling’ zone.
Green London Assembly member Darren Johnson derided the funding: “Instead of coming up with the serious policies that could reduce air pollution across London, they have been panicked… into sticking some plasters on the problem outside the few sites in London where we actually measure how bad things are.”
On 4 April, the mayor also announced manufacturers’ discount deals to help replace old vans.1 Vans and minibuses failing to meet the Euro 3 emissions standard will not be able to enter the low emission zone (LEZ) for free from next January.
Lorries, buses and coaches must also meet the Euro IV standard from that date for full access. This requires PM10 emissions five times lower than Euro III, which the LEZ mandates for heavy vehicles.
The changes should double the LEZ’s effectiveness in cutting PM10, while quadrupling the number of vehicles covered.