A Letter From Assembly Member Leonie Cooper

Calling on the Prime Minister to "protect Londoners" from "toxic air"

London’s toxic air is a public health emergency. The Mayor is doing all he can to protect Londoners and has rightly called on the Prime Minister to take long overdue national action.

Diesel was classified as a definite carcinogen back in 2012, but despite this there has been a rise in the number of diesel vehicles on the road in London in recent years. There are now nearly 50,000 diesel cars in total on Merton and Wandsworth’s roads. The lack of decisive action from the former Mayor and the government has put the health of Londoners at risk.

Mayor Khan has proposed a national, compensatory, diesel vehicle scrappage scheme to help drivers who bought diesel cars in good faith. This targeted, fully-costed approach could be rolled out nationally by the government to drastically improve air quality.

This measure alone will not bring the UK to legal levels of air pollution. This shows the scale of the problem and of the bold action that will be required to make our air safe. Low emission zones and a Clean Air Act for the 21st Century are the type of radical action we also need to see from government.

The Prime Minister must urgently take the opportunity to intervene in this crisis.


Leonie Cooper AM

April 7, 2017