London has a complicated history in regards to air pollution. The development of a network for sewers was required to end a period referred to as the Great Stink and a toxic fog enveloped the city in 1952 causing the deaths of thousands of people. Unfortunately 2017 may become a part of London’s history books due to the pollution causing difficulties for the residents.
When 2017 was only 120 hours old London’s annual cap of nitrogen dioxide was reached. In one day their concentrations exceeded the safety limits for 17 hours. The World Health Organization set the limit at 200 micrograms for each cubic meter. London’s levels were peaking at 350 micrograms. The passengers on the Tube are exposed to pollution eight times greater than individuals who drive their cars. The irony is the people driving cars are causing the highest rate of pollution from commuters. For more information regarding the pollution in London please visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriewinkless/2017/02/21/london-commuters-are-suffering-thanks-to-air-pollution/#41b72c547544.
Sadiq Khan is the mayor and has made a pledge since he took office to fight the air pollution. He promised London an Ultra Low Emission Zone and the project has already reached the planning stages. The expected enforcement date is September of 2020. Restricted standards for exhaust emissions will be required in the zone for motorcycles, cars, vans, buses, minibuses, coaches and vehicles carrying heavy goods. There will be fines for any vehicle who fails to meet the standards.
A new scheme has been announced and will be applicable to the vehicles responsible for the most pollution. The toxicity charge will be in effect beginning on October 23rd of this year. Sadiq Khan stated that any petrol or diesel vehicle that does not meet the standards for the Euro 4 emission will be required to pay an additional charge before entering London.