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UK Government faces court battle as London hits yearly limit on air pollution in one month

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London has reached air pollution limits on Brixton Road for the whole year, just 30 days into 2018.

The busy road in Lambeth reached its yearly limit, under EU rules this amounts to no more than 200 μg/m3 of nitrogen dioxide broken for more than 18 hours per calendar year.

ClientEarth took the UK government back to the High Court last week for the third time over illegal air pollution across the country. A judgment in the case is expected in the coming weeks.

Last year the limit was not just reached but broken by the fifth day. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has created ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’ in an attempt to delay the breach where it was most likely – on Putney High Street and Brixton Road.

This was also helped by the windy weather at the start of this year, which helps to clear out air pollution.

ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock said: “The Mayor has taken some bold and welcome steps to deal with London’s toxic air problem since coming to office but it's still only a month into 2018 and London has reached limits for the whole year, which shows there's much more to do. Londoners are still breathing filthy air on a daily basis.

"There are more measures coming in London but the Mayor can't solve this problem alone.

"We've recently taken the national government back to court for a third time over air pollution.

"Ministers have to get a grip and show they're serious about protecting our health by committing to real action to tackle our toxic air."

While it’s taken longer to break the hourly limit this year, the average level of nitrogen dioxide on Brixton Road has been 95ug/m3.

People who regularly spend time in Brixton have been exposed to air pollution levels that would be more than double the annual average limit.

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