More than two thirds of London residents want to see a reduction in the amount pollution from traffic and the majority want to see more action from the mayor to discourage car use.
That’s the findings of a new study from the Clean City Campaign, a new European movement that aims to encourage the transition to zero-emission transport by 2030.
More than half (59%) of respondents said they believe only emission-free cars should be allowed to be driven in the Capital after 2030.
Respondents also said they are looking to the mayor to promote public transport, walking and more green space.
Support for a ban of polluting vehicles outside schools in London reached 62%, among the highest in Europe with an average of 57% across all 15 cities surveyed.
The survey is supported by a new modelled data analysis from Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDF Europe) that reveals the far-reaching impact of air pollution from London’s major road network, the ‘Red Routes’.
As a result of the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that comes solely from vehicle pollution on the Red Routes, the analysis estimates 9% – or nearly one in 10 – of the city’s children may be living in an area where they are at a significantly higher risk of developing asthma.
Londoners don’t have to live directly on these major roads to experience the increased risk from their pollution. The analysis shows the area of increased asthma risk from Red Route pollution is seven times the size of the roads themselves.
Barbara Stoll, Clean Cities campaign director, said: “This survey makes it crystal clear that citizens are sick of breathing dirty air and are asking their mayors to put them, not cars, at the centre of new mobility in cities.
“Public opinion should be a North Star for decision-makers to make cities more liveable and sustainable. The London mayoral elections are a golden opportunity to show citizens their voice is being heard.”
More than two thirds (70%) of survey respondents told YouGov they wanted their mayor to do more to protect them from air pollution. Promoting public transport (60%), walking (70%) and more green space (72%) emerge as some of the main measures respondents want more of in the future.
Oliver Lord, head of policy and campaigns for Environmental Defense Fund Europe, added: “The pollution and health impacts from London’s busiest roads – the Red Routes – go far beyond the streets themselves, with an estimated 9% of children having a significantly increased risk of developing asthma. We are calling on all mayoral candidates to commit to a green recovery that will transform these roads and protect future generations.”