Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health. We're painfully aware of this in south London.
Research from Imperial College shows Bromley suffers the highest number of air quality related deaths in London, mainly due to the higher proportion of elderly people who are more vulnerable to air pollution. 4,000 deaths were estimated to be attributable to poor air quality across London in 2019.
Air pollution in neighbouring Lewisham was found by Southwark Coroner’s Court to have contributed to the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) and particulate matter (PM) levels near Ella’s home exceeded World Health Organisation limits.
We need action across the borough of Bromley to protect our health. Monitoring must be improved, and focussed on population centres and areas known to have poor quality.
We reiterate our recommendations made in response to Bromley Council’s Air Quality Action Plan in 2020:
Pedestrian and cycle travel must be made easier and safer.
- Introduce more 20mph speed limits to increase safety and appeal.
- Provide more cycling infrastructure.
- Provide more pedestrian crossings, especially on routes to schools, shops and public transport infrastructure.
- Increase the trialing of School Streets where traffic is restricted outside of schools.
Emissions must be reduced.
- Work with TfL to extend Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to include the borough - the next extension only reaches the South Circular.
- Work with TfL to ensure the best public transport is provided to minimise private car use.
- Make electric vehicle charging infrastructure available and mandatory for all new residential and commercial parking spaces.
We believe current air quality monitoring is insufficient.
- Extend live monitoring. There is one location providing live data and it is the site with the cleanest air according to diffusion tube data (Table D of 2019 Air Quality Report).
- Focus additional monitoring on population centres and areas with known poor air quality. Planned investment in monitoring at Biggin Hill would be better deployed elsewhere.
If you would like Bromley Council to have more live monitoring please sign our petition.