News from Darren Johnson: Air pollution breaches not reported to European Commission

19 MARCH 2012

Abstract: Information from several air pollution monitoring stations around London is being withheld from the European Commission, despite showing high pollution levels

Information from several air pollution monitoring stations across London is not being reported to the European Commission, despite exceeding the daily limit values. Currently the UK government does a modelling exercise which takes into account information from the Marylebone Road site and this is presented to the Commission. But there are other monitoring stations that measure high or higher readings, which are not reported. Darren Johnson AM is concerned that the European Commission is not receiving a complete picture of London’s air quality.

Darren Johnson said:

“The European Commission is being kept in the dark about the true state of London's air pollution problem and the reality of its impacts on Londoners’ health. The UK government is telling the Commission that Marylebone Road is the worse pollution hotspot in the UK, despite the fact that at least one other monitoring station is measuring a higher reading. When confronted by the Commission about this, our government has said that these other sites 'may, or may not' meet the criteria set out in the Directive. My Freedom of Information requests shows that the local authorities believe they do meet the criteria and the government now has no excuse for ignoring the people who live in those areas.

“I believe the air pollution values measured at Neasden Lane change the status of the London “zone.” The table above shows that last year it recorded more exceedences for the PM10 daily limit than the Marylebone Road monitoring station. So far this year, Neasden Lane has already had 20 bad air days according to provision figures, and is likely to exceed the target limit value before the Olympics. Londoners are breathing in polluted air around Neasden and throughout large areas of the capital.”


End Notes

1. Figures on daily limit values from London Air Quality Network:


Number of exceedences of daily limit value for PM10 (provisional figures for 2011)

Brent – Ikea


Brent – Neasden Lane


Lambeth – Brixton Road


City of London – Upper Thames Street


Westminster – Marylebone Road


Note that due to the time extension granted, the threshold was set higher between January and June, than would usually be the case.

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