Improving the air we breathe – taking action on diesel

Camden council is working hard to take action against poor air quality in the borough.

Poor air quality in London has a major impact, with 9,000 people annually, across the Capital, losing their life as a result of dangerous levels of pollution.

Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Environment said: “Road transport is the single biggest contributor to air pollution in Camden, with nearly half of dangerous emissions coming from vehicles on our roads. Of these, the most polluting vehicles are diesels.

“As part of our commitment to tackle air pollution, we are implementing a range of measures to reduce all road traffic and help Camden move towards becoming a diesel free borough.”

Camden Council’s actions on diesel vehicles include stopping buying diesel vehicles for its fleet in 2016, leading on a pioneering Freight Consolidation Centre to reduce the numbers of delivery vehicles using our borough’s roads, and introducing a diesel surcharge on resident parking permits.

Camden is looking to maintain this momentum through a number of upcoming policies, including developing new charges for diesel cars parked in paid for parking bays and utilising low emission vehicles in our new Environmental Services Contract.

This work closely aligns with Camden’s work to reduce overall car use in the borough, and to help create a healthier and safer borough through increased walking and cycling.

Councillor Meric Apak continued: "We are doing our bit as a council and we welcome the strong leadership being shown by the Mayor of London on the Emissions Surcharge and the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“We believe though that banning diesel vehicles across London altogether would be the most effective way to improve the air that millions of Londoners breathe every day. As part of our diesel policy, we are calling on Government to implement the Mayor’s proposal for a national scrappage scheme for diesel vehicles, so that options for a Paris style diesel ban for London can be explored.

“The Government will shortly publish their new Action Plan on how they intend to tackle air pollution. They must use this opportunity to go further, in particular through making changes to vehicle excise duty for the most polluting vehicles.”

The Mayor of London is due to consult on the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) later in the year, which would introduce tougher standards for diesel vehicles in inner London. The Mayor is looking to introduce the zone in 2019 and is considering extending the zone to cover the area inside the north and south circular roads. Camden strongly supports as wide and as early introduction of the ULEZ as feasibly possible in order to maximise its benefits on the air all Londoners breathe on a daily basis.