Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 17:19 UK

Air pollution is 'killing thousands of Londoners'

Cyclist in London wearing an air pollution mask
The strategy tackles pollution hotspots in London

Early results of a study commissioned by the mayor suggest 4,300 Londoners will die prematurely every year as a result of poor air quality.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has now published his plans to tackle air pollution hotspots.

His 'Clearing The Air' strategy is out for public consultation and outlines the key sources of airborne pollutants

The Campaign for Clear Air in London said the plans were just a "wish list" and "not good enough".

'Dirtiest' vehicles

Early indications of a study commissioned by Mr Johnson, to be published later this year, suggests about 4,300 people a year in London could be dying prematurely, mainly as a result of poor air quality or conditions such as asthma, heart disease and respiratory illness.

Power washing the roads to remove harmful particulates
Applying dust suppressants on road surfaces
Changing signal timings to smooth the flow of traffic
Planting green walls and trees to absorb particulates and to protect pedestrians
No-idling enforcement to stop people leaving their engine running for long periods
Deploying the cleanest buses along the most polluted routes

The mayor's strategy will target the most polluted areas including Marylebone Road, Euston Road, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Victoria Embankment, Upper Thames Street and Tower Hill.

The plan sets out how the mayor intends to cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions by 2015 and to reduce particulate (PM10) matter, emitted from motor vehicles, to meet European Union legislation on air quality.

The plans would also see the oldest, most polluting heavier vans and minibuses included in the Low Emission Zone from January 2012.

The LEZ is an area covering most of Greater London, within which the "dirtiest" vehicles will have to meet specific emission standards.

Mr Johnson said: "We are taking tough action to clean up London's air by targeting measures where they will have the most impact.

"These are creating a city where buses and taxis are becoming progressively less polluting, where cycling and transport choices such as electric vehicles will become more widespread."

Steven Birkett, from the Campaign for Clear Air in London, said: "This is more a wish list than a strategy.

"There are 14 measures the mayor wants the government to take to tackle this problem - and that is just not good enough.

"We need to see a lot more radical action from the mayor very quickly to tackle this huge public health problem."

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