Oxford Street already reaches the air pollution maximum for 2015

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Oxford Street already reaches the air pollution maximum for 2015

London's air quality is a hotly contested subject, but figures have shown that one area has already exceeded annual thresholds for pollution in 2015.
Air quality monitoring on Oxford Street has shown that the average amount of nitrogen dioxide in one hour was higher than EU limits on 19 occasions by January 2nd. The European Union state that there should be no more than 18 breaches in any one year.
Putney High Street is also at risk of breaking its annual limits in the early stages of January, with further figures published today set to reveal whether or not their 18 hours has been reached.
The gases responsible are mainly produced by diesel engines found in buses and taxis, with the architecture and design of certain roads contributing to the pollution being contained within smaller areas.
Simon Birkett, the Founder and Director of Clean Air In London, said that this isn't a problem that looks like it is going away any time soon. 
"The gap between what the Mayor says and what he needs to do and actually does has never been wider," he said.
“Meanwhile, concerns about air pollution, particularly NO2 and diesel exhaust, have risen exponentially.  Leading scientists say that many roads in central London will tend to have the highest NO2 concentrations in the world."
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said in a statement: "The Mayor is leading the most ambitious and comprehensive package of measures in the world to improve London's air quality, an urgent challenge which affects the health and well-being of all Londoners.
"At the heart of his plans is the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London from 2020, and already, progress is being made.
"The oldest and most polluting vehicles have been taken off the streets, and around Oxford Street alone, the Mayor's measures have reduced emissions by a third in two years."

In 2014, Putney High Street breached the hourly limit 999 times, whilst Oxford Street exceeded the figure on 1,361 occasions.
With the consultation period for the Mayor's Ultra Low Emission Zone ending on Friday, the air quality in the capital is likely to remain high on the agenda throughout this week.

Joining Headline London to discuss this subject further was member of the London Assembly Murad Qureshi, who is Labour spokesman on the Environment.


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