Big smoke: Is London winning the battle to clean its air?

London undoubtedly has the worst air in the UK with EU limits for NO2 breached somewhere in the city within the first week of each year, but the city is fighting back. ENDS looks at the data to see if it is having an impact

London undoubtedly has the worst air in the UK. From 2004 to 2017, EU limits for NO2 were breached (by remaining above 200ug/m3 for more than 18 hours) somewhere in the city within the first week of each year, usually at well-known air pollution hotspots (see table).

A 2019 study by King’s College London found it would take 193 years for the city to reach legal compliance with NO2 limits if the trend of inaction seen between 2010 and 2016 continued.

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