High pollution alert triggered in London

27 September 2017

Soaring levels of air pollution have led a London-wide warning to be triggered, the seventh time since a new alert system was introduced in August last year.

The ‘high’ alert was triggered after the build-up of fine particulate matter - PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles – spiked across the capital on Wednesday, owing largely to weather conditions.

Pollution warning signs will be displayed at 2,500 bus stops and river piers, with electronic updates at all 270 Underground stations and messages on the city’s busiest main roads.

Children and adults suffering from lung problems such as asthma, as well as older people, have been advised to carry medication and reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors.

“The shocking and illegal state of London’s filthy air means once again I am triggering a ‘high’ air pollution alert,” the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said.

“It’s now time for the government to step up by introducing a national diesel scrappage fund to rid our streets of dirty diesels, and to give me the powers I need to tackle non-transport sources of pollution.”

The spike was caused by toxic emissions blowing over from Europe, exacerbating pollution conditions in the capital, while mist and low cloud have prevented particulate matter from being dispersed.

The Mayor is introducing ambitious policies to tackle London’s toxic air crisis, include the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) in October, to tackle emissions from the oldest polluting vehicles, especially diesels.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone, which the Mayor will consult Londoners on and bring forward to April 2019, will impose some of toughest emissions standards in the world.

A high pollution alert was last triggered in London on 21 June this year.

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