Labour-run Islington Council has become the first council in the capital to call for all diesel vehicles to be banned from London.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, has called on the Mayor of London to bring forward plans to commit to banning diesel vehicles from the city by 2025.
Cllr Webbe said: "A blanket ban in the capital on all diesel vehicles, including the ones meeting the Euro 6 standard, would have a dramatic impact on air quality for the millions of us who work and live in London.
“The capital’s air pollution is nothing short of a public health crisis, reducing the quality and shortening the lives of all Londoners. The answer has to be bold and co-ordinated across all levels of government.
“It is encouraging that the Mayor is determined to tackle the issue, and we will do everything we can to help him achieve these aims.
“But I am urging him to go further still and commit to brave, truly life-changing measures. It is never too soon to start reclaiming London’s air for the sake of those who breathe it every day."
Islington is calling on the Mayor to:
- expand his proposed Emissions Surcharge, or T-Charge to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
- enable the earlier introduction of the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in October this year, expanded out to the M25 in 2019.
- use the ULEZ as a transitional arrangement towards removing all diesels from Greater London by 2025. This would need support across London’s authorities including the GLA and TfL, for the necessary infrastructure to replace them – from electric vehicle charging points and electric bus fleets to cycle route improvements and more.
- strengthen the Emissions Surcharge with fewer exemptions and a re-examination of the emissions standards being used for petrol and diesel vehicles.
Cllr Webbe added: "Islington Council has been at the forefront of developing pioneering, innovative policies to tackle poor air quality where we have opportunities to.
"From introducing the country’s first 20mph speed limits on all council-managed roads, to the introduction of the diesel surcharge on residents parking permits, to tackling idling hotspots with the threat of fines – we have made bold, often initially unpopular decisions to tackle the growing threat from air pollution, despite cuts to the council’s central government funding that will reach 70 per cent in a decade by 2020.
"We have also pushed forward with schemes to install more electric charging points and made it easier for people to walk and cycle in the borough.
"We agree more needs to be done to tackle air pollution, and we support further action. However Islington Council cannot solve air pollution alone. We know that the majority of harmful pollutants in our borough come from buses and lorries travelling through Islington, and we need action from higher levels of government.
"That is why, in response to his latest consultation on air quality, we have called for the Mayor of London to ban diesel vehicles from the capital, including Euro VI diesels as we do not believe there is any clean diesel yet produced.
"It is time for radical action like this at a city-wide level, to head off potentially disastrous health impacts in years to come."
Pictured - Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment & Transport