pollution NEWS

Annual pollution limits in Putney exceeded in 9 days

Putney High Street has once again exceeded the annual pollution limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in just nine days according to data released by Kings College London.

The breach of the limit of 18 hours was despite the introduction of a daytime delivery ban for businesses on the road.

In 2012 the limit was breached 2740 times, the equivalent of 114 days however the introduction of new technology to the exhaust systems of buses caused a dramatic decrease to 1580 hours in 2013.

Blame for the high pollution levels is attributed to the large number of diesel buses on the seven routes which pass along the high street, despite efforts to make the service more green since 2012.

Whilst Putney High Street remains one of the most polluted streets in London, this year Brixton Road made national headlines after breaking the limit in just five days and Oxford Street remains one of the most polluted streets in Europe.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce hybrid and zero-emission buses on all the routes that pass through Putney High Street from October 2017 creating a low emission bus zone.

Jonathan Callaway, Deputy Chair of Putney Society told us “The Putney Society continues to be appalled at the NO2 levels in and around Putney High Street and is campaigning actively to encourage the Council and the Mayor to take more radical steps to reduce traffic volumes and penalise the use of older dirtier vehicles, especially diesels which are responsible for much of the toxic NO2 emissions.  We support active travel solutions such as walking, cycling and greater use of public transport.

We are hopeful the new lower-emission buses will further reduce NO2 levels but we would not expect that alone to solve the problem – there are quite simply far too many diesel vehicles of all types on the roads.  From the latest air quality monitoring it seems the delivery ban has not had more than a marginal impact on pollution levels.

The society will also be engaging with local schools to encourage them to work with parents and pupils to further reduce car and especially diesel car usage.

We have approached Wandsworth Council but have yet to receive a response.

Do you think any more can be done, and if so what?