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Air pollution in London set to worsen today as Mayor issues ‘high’ alert

The Mayor of London issued a ‘high’ air pollution alert yesterday and it’s expected to get worse today (February 27).

The Mayor blamed the sharp increase in particulate levels on a combination of poorly dispersed local emissions and ‘sustained import’ of particulates from Germany and France, which is set to worsen today as the pollution imported from the continent will be from a working weekday rather than the weekend.

Messages have been displayed at over 2,500 bus stops and on 140 roadside dot matrix signs, warning people of the dangers of air pollution to health.

Episodes of pollution with high concentrations occur a few times per year in London, but very high pollution episodes are rare.

The last recorded high pollution in London was on 25th July 2018.

In related news, Friends of the Earth released their analysis of the most recent local authority annual Air Quality Status Reports submitted to the government, with locations in London taking up 8 of the top 10 spaces, which you can see below.

UK locations ranked by annual average level of NO2 (in ug/m3) – the Objective is 40ug/m3:

  1. Earls Court Station, Kensington & Chelsea, London – 129.5
  2. Junction North Circular Rd / Chartley Avenue, Brent, London – 115.39
  3. IKEA, Hut, North Circular Road, Brent, London – 102.1
  4. Neville Street (NW Tunnel entrance), Leeds – 99
  5. Fir Tree Close, Hickleton, Doncaster – 96
  6. Kensington H St/Kensington Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, London – 94.5
  7. Euston Road, Camden, London – 92.45
  8. Strand, City of Westminster, London – 92
  9. High Street, Harlesden, Brent, London – 91.83
  10. Haddon Hall Tower Bridge Road, Southwark, London – 90.79

With ULEZ set to come into force on April 8, the Mayor says he expects harmful emissions to reduce by 45% inside the zone.

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