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London exceeds NO2 pollution limits five days into 2017

Date: 06 January 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Brixton Road in south London has become the first place to breach EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits for 2017, just five days into the new year.

EU rules dictate a maximum NO2 concentration of 200 micrograms per cubic metre cannot be exceeded for more than 18 hours over the course of a year.

Brixton Road's monitoring site - one of several in the capital run by King's College - exceeded the threshold for a 19th hour in 2017 at 9pm on 5 January.

 In 2016, it took eight days for Putney High Street to exceed the limit, and, according to King's College, exceeded that limit on 1,100 occasions over the year

Meanwhile in 2015, Oxford Street took just two days to go over the threshold.

According to research by the Institute for Public Policy Research, 9,400 premature deaths are caused by outdoor air pollution, much of which is from road transport in the capital.

Since coming into office in May, mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has pledged to reduce vehicle pollution on several occasions. He is planning to roll out a larger Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2019, a year earlier than previous mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Khan also recently announced he would double funding to tackle the pollution problem, to £875m over the next five years.