Pollution Crisis: a Serious Threat to the Health & Wellbeing of Londoners?
T he statistics speak for themselves; London is suffering under the cloud of pollution that hovers over us in the London basin. Its the lid on a micro climate that keeps us a degree or two warmer than outer reaches of this great city. The greatest threat is us choking to death in the pollution that has been exacerbated by the reduction in road space for traffic and the increased jams caused by cycle lanes.

The facts speak for themselves; The Royal College of Physicians state that 40,000 deaths a year inked to air pollution whereas the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) state that in 2014 there were 113 deaths to cyclists. Although tragic its negligible compared to pollution related deaths. So are we being penny wise and pound foolish?  Did we create cycle lanes in a knee jerk reaction to a more vocal lobby of cyclists whom regularly flout traffic laws thus increasing their risk of injury or fatality?

Whilst we agree that reducing traffic is a priority but cannot be done overnight, we think that reducing road space for cars buses and lorries on the capitals roads to make way for cycle lanes has increased the pollution on the roads because more cars are stationary in traffic which has increased the health risks from pollution in the capital.  This unconsidered effect is a direct cause of the reduction in available road space due to the cycle super highways.

The cost to the capital is multiplied in other areas:

Increased A&E hospital admissions up in respiratory (asthma) and cardiac wards.

Reduced productivity of workforce

Increase in asthma and other pollution related illness in young Londoners

Reduced travel times on London roads 

Increased cost of production/delivery of goods 

Reduced quality of life for Londoners

We do not suggest that we should remove the cycle lanes; but we do urge the Mayors office and government to look into more drastic and immediate methods to reduce congestion. Some of which  could be:

Odd/even number car registration only days

More draconian restrictions on HGVs 

Limit the number of Private hire vehicles

Cleaner Taxi’s

Centralised Freight Traffic Control

Double Congestion Charge for single occupancy vehicles

There is little doubt that the need for something drastic to occur sooner rather than later; it requires the political will and strategic planning to implement change for the better of the people of London, Pollution like disease knows no race, creed, colour, faith or sexual persuasion. We are all at risk, and its time to act now because its been getting worse each day we fail to act are lives lost as a result.

Over a 100 people die each day as a result of our failure. Who is speaking for them?

Links:

https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/doctors-say-40000-deaths-year-linked-air-pollution

http://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/cyclists/cycling-accidents-factsheet.pdf

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