Air pollution limits for 2016 have already been breached in London

Air pollution limits for the whole year have been breached in London. Air pollution on Putney High Street was last week (January 8th) recorded as having breached EU legal limits for the whole of 2016 in little more than a week, with other roads in London also expected to record similar pollution breaches this week.

air pollution limits

According to the UK’s air quality and emissions news and information site Putney High Street monitoring site has recorded its 19th hour breaching the limits in the morning’s rush hour. European Union limits demand that maximum hourly nitrogen dioxide concentrations are not exceeded for more than 18 hours a year.

The busy shopping road become the first in London to record air pollution limit breaches in 2016, although Oxford Street is also thought to have breached limits and the likes of Knightsbridge, Brixton Road and Marylebone Road are expected to follow suit. Air quality monitors on Putney High Street recorded the 19th breach of the EU hourly 200ugm3 (microgrammes per cubic metre) limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) during today’s morning rush hour, the London Air Quality Network confirmed.

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Under EU and UK law, individual air quality monitors are permitted only 18 breaches of the 200ugm3 hourly limit during an entire calendar year.

Last January, NO2 pollution on Oxford Street took just two days to record more than 18 breaches for the whole of 2015 (see story) and is also already thought to have followed Putney High Street in breaching this same limit for 2016.

Operated by KCL in partnership with the Greater London Authority, the London Air Quality Network monitors hourly air pollution levels at around 120 sites in London, including the Knightsbridge monitoring site in Kensington, which at the time of writing is currently on 17 breaches for 2016.

KCL said: “While press and public attention focuses on Oxford Street, it is important to note that the majority of main roads in London regularly breach legal values for nitrogen dioxide as illustrated by today’s results from Putney High Street. Five roads breached the objectives within the first month of 2015.”

News of the breach on Putney High Street – a well-known pollution hotspot – comes ahead of a ban on daytime deliveries to shops on the road, which is due to start from Monday (January 11) as part of a pilot Wandsworth council initiative aimed at alleviating traffic pollution (see story).

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