Professor Frank Kelly, Environmental Health Professor and Director, Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, has cited the implementation of low-emission bus zones in London as a potential factor behind the recent improvement in air quality.
The zones, established by Mayor Sadiq Khan, aim to reduce the number of polluting vehicles in areas that have historically recorded dangerous levels of toxic air. Two key areas that have shown an improvement on the readings from this time last year are Putney High Street and Brixton Road, which breached the legal limits of annual levels of traffic fumes after just 120 hours in 2017.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Professor Kelly highlighted the impact that reducing the number of vehicles can have on the capital’s air quality:
“If you remove the vehicles that create the problem, pollution just disappears. It’s as simple as that. The introduction of these eco-buses in places like Putney High Street would be a main reason why we have seen an improvement.”
Professor Kelly also noted the effect of weather on the readings, stating that air pollution is a global problem and that toxic air can travel across the Channel from mainland Europe.