Majority of Londoners say only zero-emission cars should be allowed after 2030
A strong majority of Londoners want increased action on pollution from traffic, including from the mayor, according to new research.
Carried out for the Clean Cities Campaign, the research showed 67% of Londoners want to see pollution from traffic brought down, while 59% believe only emission-free cars should be allowed to be driven after 2030.
The survey, carried out online in March 2021 among 1,008 adults living in the UK capital, also found that support for a ban of polluting vehicles outside schools in London stood at 62%, among the highest in Europe and compared to an average of 57% across all 15 cities surveyed.
Worryingly, the study also revealed the far-reaching impact of air pollution from London’s major road network; the ‘Red Routes’.
Based on new modelled data analysis from Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDF Europe), the analysis estimates 9% – or nearly 1 in 10 – of the city’s children may be living in an area where they are at a significantly higher risk of developing asthma due to the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that comes solely from vehicle pollution on the Red Routes.
And Londoners don’t have to live directly on these major roads to experience the increased risk from their pollution. The analysis shows the area of increased asthma risk from Red Route pollution is seven times the size of the roads themselves.
Across Europe, respondents are looking to their mayors to help traffic pollution by promoting public transport (60%), walking (70%) and more green space (72%).
Barbara Stoll, Clean Cities Campaign director said: “This survey makes it crystal clear that citizens are sick of breathing dirty air and are asking their mayors to put them, not cars, at the centre of new mobility in cities. Public opinion should be a North Star for decision-makers to make cities more liveable and sustainable. The London mayoral elections are a golden opportunity to show citizens their voice is being heard.”