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Improving London’s Air Quality
With your help and thanks to schemes introduced by the Mayor of London and TfL, we have made great progress in cleaning up London's air – but there is still more to do.
Despite recent improvements in air quality, toxic air pollution in London remains the biggest environmental risk to the health of all Londoners, harming our lungs, and worsening chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung and heart disease and putting the health of our children at risk. A new study from Imperial College London found that in 2019 over 4,000 Londoners died due to the impact of toxic air.
Polluting road vehicles are the single biggest contributor to London's air pollution. Every time we drive, our cars and vans produce pollutants which can reach deep into the body and cause lasting damage.
Air pollution is not just a central London problem. 99% of Londoners live in an area where pollution exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended guidelines.
But together TfL, the Mayor of London and Londoners' efforts are cleaning up the air for all of London and helping London make a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
What TfL is doing and how you can help
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and ULEZ expansion
Since its launch in 2019, the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone has helped to reduce the levels of some harmful pollutants by almost half. But air pollution is not just a central London problem, it affects the whole of our city. That's why, from 25 October 2021, TfL are expanding the ULEZ to create a single, larger zone up to the North and South Circular Roads. The good news is that four out of five cars that currently make journeys in the expanded zone, already meet the ULEZ emissions standards. However, we need owners of the remaining older polluting petrol and diesel cars, motorcycles, lighter vans and minibuses to take action.
You can find out if your vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards, and if an address or postcode is in the expanded ULEZ on the TfL website: tfl.gov.uk/ulez-2021.
The main TfL bus fleet now meets the highest Euro VI emission standard and TfL are committed to having a zero-emission bus fleet no later than 2037.
Before you travel on public transport, remember to check the Government guidelines, visit gov.uk/coronavirus.
Since 2016, the number of state primary and secondary schools in areas which exceed the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide (one of the most harmful pollutants) has reduced by 97%. TfL has funded 430 new School Streets across London, to encourage more families to switch to walking, cycling or scooting – helping improve air quality and reduce congestion.
Charge Points for electric vehicles
TfL are working with partners to develop a network of rapid charging points in London to help you charge your electric vehicle quickly and efficiently. There are over 5,000 charge points for electric vehicles in London and around 450 of these are rapid chargers. Of the 450 rapid chargers, TfL has funded more than 300. Through the Go Ultra Low City Scheme, TfL has also provided funding to boroughs to install over 2,000 residential chargers across 28 boroughs. By Spring 2021, this will have increased to 3,500.
Consider changing to an electric vehicle. For information about getting an electric vehicle, including a list of eligible vehicles for a government grant, visit gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants