Boris Johnson was today challenged to improve the lives of millions of Londoners by bringing in a clean air zone in central London. The Mayor has so far refused to back the plan to tackle air pollution which leads to more than 4,300 premature deaths in the capital every year.
Under the Liberal Democrat proposal the oldest, most polluting diesel vehicles would be banned from the city centre where pollution is worst. Motorists would be offered financial help to upgrade these vehicles and congestion charge cameras would enforce the ban before the 2012 Olympics. Mr Johnson has described the idea as “extremely interesting” but suggested it would be too expensive and that his own plans would work better.
Simon Birkett, of the Campaign for Clean Air in London, said: “This radical and well thought-through proposal is just what London needs… It contrasts starkly with the wishful thinking in the Mayor's draft Air Quality Strategy.”