14 September 2016

Public meetings this week on Lambeth's Clean Air Plan

Lambeth council will be hosting two meetings open to the public on its recently announced consultation on how to clean up the borough's air.

The two drop in sessions will be hosted at the following locations, with one close to Vassall in Kennington:

  • Thursday 15 September 2016 between 6pm and 8pm at Roots & Shoots Hall, Walnut Tree Walk, Kennington, SE11 6DN
  • Wednesday 28 September 2016 between 6pm and 8pm at Streatham Tate Library, 63 Streatham High Road, Streatham, SW16 1PN

Writing in the Brixton Blog this month, Vassall councillor Paul Gadsby described how important this consultation is for the local area, which suffers particularly bad pollution from Brixton Road:

Brixton Road, which runs through the heart of my ward, Vassall, is one of the most polluted in South London because of the large number of TfL buses, taxis and heavy goods lorries running through the route every day. In 2015 it breached the yearly limit for diesel fume pollution in four days: in other words the area used up 365 days’ worth of safe emissions in 96 hours.

Across London, more than 9,000 Londoners a year die from conditions related to poor air quality and a quarter of schools sit in areas that regularly have pollution levels well above recommended limits.

Off the back of the appalling statistics, local councillors in Brixton ran a successful campaign to get cleaner engines fitted on TfL buses travelling down Brixton Road which has resulted in a small improvement in the air quality in the immediate area.

The council has introduced measures to encourage drivers to turn off their engines when they are stationary. Community groups have been doing a great job of adding to the lobbying pressure. Special praise needs to be given to Lambeth for a Cool Planet, who have been organising events around Brixton and working with the council to get its policies right on the issue. The new London mayor responded to this joint work by announcing a new low emission bus zone that will cover Brixton and Streatham, putting further limits on emissions.

Lambeth’s new air quality action plan is an attempt to draw all this activity together in one concrete plan that can be implemented between 2017 and 2022. Shaped with community groups, it has proposals that include a freight consolidation centre to slash the number of journeys made by the most polluting vehicles and changing planning guidance to reduce air pollution from construction.
 Residents can put their views in about this consultation direct to Lambeth here.