20 January 2017

Vassall councillors welcome call for early implementation of Low Emission Bus Zone

Vassall councillors have welcomed Lambeth council's call for the proposed Low Emission Bus Zone to be implemented earlier than October following reports that Brixton Road has once again breached the yearly limit for safe emissions in January.

Reports from clean air monitoring charities have suggested that a number of roads in London had used up their recommended limits of air toxins after a few weeks in the New Year. Poor air quality is an issue that local Vassall councillors - Jacqui Dyer, Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop - have been highlighting since they were elected in 2014, especially as it impacts on the lives of thousands of residents around the Brixton Road area. Last year, councillors lead a successful campaign to get cleaner bus engines fitted on Transport for London vehicles using the route after evidence that the high number of buses on the road was a key contributor to high pollution levels. But as Vassall councillor Paul Gadsby highlighted in a letter to the Evening Standard and in an article for Age UK, more needs to be done to tackle the issue, especially after the government's Clean Air plan was overturned in the courts for being inadequate.

In a move to continue to place pressure on key decision makers, Lambeth council has now called for the Low Emission Bus Zone, which will introduce even cleaner buses on the Brixton Road route, to be brought forward earlier than its planned implementation in October. If agreed to by the Mayor it will see the cleaner buses rolled out over the course of the year to futher reduce air quality.

Vassall councillors - Paul Gadsby, Annie Gallop and Jacqui Dyer - said:

"Tackling poor air quality is a key pirority for local councillors, especially as it was a problem utterly ignored by the last Tory Mayor. We cannot allow a situation where thousands of residents are being put at risk from high levels of pollution that damages health and wellbeing throughout the community.

"We have already lead campaigns which have resulted in improvements, but more needs to be done. We are pleased that Lambeth has decided to call for the Low Emission Bus Zone to be implemented sooner. But it is now also time for the government to get its act together and begin putting in place a proper plan to tackle poor air quality throughout our borough."