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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
City roads breach pollution limit
Car exhaust
Horn Lane in Ealing is the most polluted place in London
Nine sites in London have exceeded the European Union's (EU) legal limit for air pollution, a report by the Green Party at the London Assembly has said.

Horn Lane in Ealing, west London, is the most polluted place with 133 bad air days followed by Vauxhall Cross in Lambeth, with 129 bad air days.

The EU allows every place to have only 35 bad air days a year.

The poor air quality is responsible for the premature deaths of about 1,000 Londoners a year, the report said.

The EU is currently investigating the level of particulate matter (PM10) - fine sooty particles found in exhaust fumes of cars - in the UK and particularly London, the Green Party said.

'Firm action needed'

If no action is taken the EU will first formally warn the UK's government and finally the government could be taken to court and fined.

The EU's legal limit for air pollution came into effect in 2005.

The Green Party's report comes months after the EU formally warned the government about the level of sulphur dioxide in the air, which was not breached in London.

In 2000, only one place breached the bad air days limit but last year 11 sites failed to meet the EU standards.

Horn Lane, Ealing - 133
Vauxhall Cross, Lambeth - 129
Erith, Bexley - 108
Neasden Lane, Brent - 100
Marylebone Road, Baker Street - 84
Woolwich flyover, Greenwich - 55
Westhorne Avenue, Greenwich - 39
- Brixton Road, Lambeth - 36
North Circular Road, Brent - 36

Baker Street in Marylebone Road, has figured on the list every year since 2000.

Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: "The failure of the government and local authorities borders on the criminal and we need the European Commission to take firm action against them.

"Whilst I welcome the London Mayor's introduction of a Low Emission Zone to deal with the older, more polluting heavy diesel vehicles, it won't be enough to guarantee the health of Londoners," he added.

In 2006, Cromwell Road and Earls Court Road, in Kensington and Chelsea borough, and Thames Road North in Bexley, were on the list.

The Low Emission Zone in London, which comes into effect in February 2008, will see heavy polluting vehicles charged for entering London.

Mayor Ken Livingstone's office said he "shares the Green Party's concern" and has hence invested millions on public transport and encouraging cycling.

A spokesperson said: "Strict new emission controls have been introduced on London buses and taxis and in addition an AirTEXT service was introduced which sends alerts on air quality to Londoners suffering with respiratory conditions."

The Green Party says eight sites in London are more polluted than they should be

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