Ask the Mayor to clean up Camberwell's air

We are calling on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to  replace buses on all routes passing through Camberwell Green with hybrid, hydrogen or electric buses by 2018. This is not just about Camberwell! Cleaning up the 15 dirty diesel bus routes will be good for the health of people all along those routes: in Elephant and Castle, Walworth, Vauxhall, Oval, Brixton, Herne Hill, Forest Hill and so on...

Southwark Green Party's recent monitoring of nitrogen dioxide pollution around Camberwell Green has shown that annual levels at the bus stops outside Butterfly Walk/McDonalds on Denmark Hill are more than twice the legal EU limit. The monitor outside McDonalds measured 84 micrograms per cubic metre, while the legal EU limit is 40.

Camberwell Green is a busy high street and major bus interchange, with 15 bus routes and hundreds of people waiting there at all hours of the day. Among those exposed to these extremely high levels of pollution are the most vulnerable members of our community: young children, older people and patients attending appointments at King’s College Hospital, including pregnant women and people with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions.

Of the 20 nitrogen dioxide monitors installed by Southwark Green Party around the borough, only two were below the EU limit. The 11 monitors placed outside shops, cafés and schools around the Camberwell Green junction  were all far above the EU limit. This new evidence suggests that shopping or changing buses at Camberwell Green is a serious and acute health hazard, with a huge cumulative impact on the health of local residents.

We welcome the Mayor’s proposal to introduce 12 Low Emission Bus Zones. One of these zones is identified as ‘Camberwell to New Cross’, but these zones will not be completed until 2020. The Mayor’s proposal also only deals with buses on one axis of this polluted junction. We want to see buses on the routes from Elephant and Castle to Brixton and Dulwich cleaned up too. This would make  the highly polluted corridors of Walworth Road, Camberwell New Road, Peckham Road and Coldharbour Lane healthier places to live.

Camberwell residents cannot wait until 2020 for action. A child born at King’s College Hospital and growing up in Camberwell today is exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution, putting them at risk of asthma, allergies, cognitive and behavioural problems and stunted lung development, leading to lifelong health problems.

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