Shocking levels of air pollution in Southwark

Photo: Eleanor puts up a diffusion tube monitor in Peckham

We are demanding cleaner buses after our tests found pollution levels in Southwark more than double legal limit. We have  launched a petition demanding London Mayor Sadiq Khan take action this year to clean up every bus driving through Camberwell Green.

Pollution monitors placed around Southwark by local members recorded levels of nitrogen dioxide at more than twice the legal EU limit outside McDonalds on Denmark Hill. Just two of the 20 locations monitored for the full month of February fell within the legal limit.

The worst offenders were Tooley Street, Borough High Street and McDonalds in the busy Butterfly Walk shopping centre on Denmark Hill, which all registered pollution levels more than double the limit. Primary schools and King's College Hospital were also found to have illegal air.

The Mayor has proposed creating 12 Low Emission Bus Zones by 2020 – one of which is 'Camberwell to New Cross', covering just three of the routes through Camberwell Green. But Southwark Green Party's petition calls for buses on all 15 routes that pass through the area to be replaced with electric, hydrogen or hybrid vehicles before 2018.

Such a plan would improve the air at Camberwell Green, and have the added benefit of making the highly polluted corridors of Walworth Road, Camberwell New Road, Peckham Road and Coldharbour Lane healthier places to live.

Southwark Green Party spokesperson Eleanor Margolies said: 'We were astonished to discover that people waiting for buses in Camberwell and walking to school with their children are exposed to such appalling levels of pollution. Our illegally filthy air is contributes to thousands of deaths in the UK every year, and causes asthma and and stunted lung development in children. We cannot wait until 2020 for Sadiq Khan to start cleaning up Camberwell's buses. He must act now to protect the health of a generation of children.'

Please sign the petition.

The legal EU limit for nitrogen dioxide is 40 micrograms per cubic metre(μg/m3). Southwark Green Party's full results (in μg/m3):

  • Tooley Street: 88.32
  • Borough High Street: 88.00
  • McDonalds, Denmark Hill: 84.00
  • Peckham Rye Station: 73.00
  • Sacred Heart School (Camberwell New Road): 71.85
  • Camberwell Grove/Camberwell Church Street: 70.68
  • South Circular/Lordship Lane: 69.68
  • Southwark Pensioners Centre (Camberwell Road): 69.60
  • Oliver Goldsmith School (Peckham Road): 68.88
  • Camberwell Green Surgery: 65.50
  • Harris Academy (Peckham Road): 59.72
  • Goose Green School (Grove Vale): 58.83
  • Camberwell College of Art: 56.73
  • King's College Hospital: 55.57
  • Dog Kennel Hill School: 53.35
  • South Circular: 52.78
  • Denmark Hill Station: 51.25
  • Dulwich Village: 40.95
  • South Circular/College Road: 36.41
  • Camberwell Grove Rail Bridge: 31.38


David puts up a difusion tube monitor outside Butterfly Walk, Camberwell Green

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