Fitzrovia charity calls for tough action on air pollution in central London

A Fitzrovia charity has called on the Mayor of London to take tougher action to combat air pollution in central London by restricting motor vehicles on high pollution days.

Cyclist, taxi and bus on Oxford Street.

Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association says plan to pedestrianise Oxford Street is a “trophy project” and fails to properly address air quality in central London.

The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, which campaigns on behalf of the 8,000 residents in the central London district, says “the Mayor must restrict motor traffic movement in the whole of central London” and “ban all but emergency vehicles on high pollution days”.

The charity made the call in its response to the Mayor of London’s consultation on plans for the “transformation of Oxford Street“, which ended on Sunday.

The Neighbourhood Association is opposing the “transformation” proposals as put forward by Transport for London and Westminster City Council and slams the Oxford Street vision as a “trophy project” that fails to deal with the more difficult issue of toxic air across central London.

“The Mayor and TfL must tackle air quality and congestion over a much wider area than just Oxford Street. Yet the ideas being put forward would move air pollution and congestion into the streets surrounding Oxford Street.”

The charity which also provides housing and welfare advice to people in Camden and Westminster expressed concern about the health of children at a local school which was identified in the recently published report by mayor Sadiq Khan as being surrounded by illegally high levels of the pollutant NO2.

“The 200 children at All Souls Primary School in Foley Street are exposed to an average of 47.9 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre. This exceeds the EU legal limit which is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air,” it said.

The charity opposes calls to ban cyclists from Oxford Street and pressed for environmental and access improvements.

“Oxford Street should be an accessible place for all shoppers whether they are able bodied or have disabilities. There should be places to sit and drinking fountains and public toilets at regular intervals along the street. It should also be a pedestrian and cycle friendly street. It should have a 10 mph speed limit.”

Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association also responded to the consultation on London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and the government’s national air quality plan.

Editors’ note: Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association is the publisher of Fitzrovia News.

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