Mayor issues first ‘high’ air pollution warning, now he needs to act

Mayor issues his first ‘high’ air pollution warning since he launched his Breathe Better Together campaign in January. The warning went out via Airtext and the LonGov twitter account to around ten thousand people, rather than the Boris Johnson account which has over a million followers.

Jenny Jones has previously criticised the Mayor of London’s public awareness campaign on the health risks of dirty air as “inadequate compared to the scale of London’s air pollution challenge”. The Mayor had informed Jones that his Breathe Better Campaign would target vulnerable groups. He said “detailed messaging and resources [will be] aimed at more specialist users (schools, hospitals, emergency services etc)” (1)

Jenny Jones said:

“The Breathe Better campaign is really disappointing and inadequate compared to the scale of London’s air pollution challenge. It appears to be about advising the victims of air pollution rather than the polluters. The Mayor’s small, simple steps fail to properly include action to be taken by drivers who cause the pollution in the first place.

They fail to guarantee that all schools, hospitals will be notified when there are pollution episodes and fail to use the public information network to get the message out via Transport for London”

Jones has also called for the following actions during high and very high pollution episodes:

Restricting road vehicle access for non-essential journeys

Regional weather updates to include information about harmful emissions (PM and NO2) levels during pollution episodes

Ban school run during pollution episodes. Ensure that schools in high risk areas have school travel plans with information for children and parents to avoid pollution exposure. The Mayor via his Clean Air Fund should be helping them to analyse their pollution risk and develop action plans.


Editors Notes

Jenny is available for interview

(1) Jenny’s Mayors Questions

Breathe Better Together campaign – forecast and alert service

Mayor’s Question Time Date: Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Question No: 2014/4087

Jenny Jones question: In answer to my question 2014/1798, you stated that you are developing a new air pollution forecast and alert service to ensure that schools, hospitals and the emergency services have access to this information and integrating it into your ‘Breathe Better Together’ campaign. Can you explain the means by which your new alert system will inform these groups and other vulnerable Londoners to harmful pollution episodes?

The Mayor’s reply: We will work in partnership with the existing airTEXT consortium to ensure Londoners have access to the information they need. This will be complemented with more detailed messaging and resources aimed at more specialist users (schools, hospitals, emergency services etc) delivered in partnership with London Resilience. – See more at: