Walworth’s air contains levels of a harmful pollutant which greatly exceed European and World Health Organisation standards, shows new research by Southwark Green Party.
Laboratory analysis of air samples taken by local Green parliamentary candidate John Tyson last autumn found nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels at Bricklayers Arms (where New Kent Road, Old Kent Road and Tower Bridge Road meet) were nearly double the EU limit. Studies have shown that excessive NO2 worsens shortness of breath, coughing and lung inflammation, particularly for people with asthma.
Writer and North Walworth resident Guy Mannes-Abbott said: “These shocking figures are not a freakish spike but consistent with NO2 levels along the New Kent Road and Walworth Road which are routinely double EU and UK target levels, year in year out. These are also the busiest roads in Southwark, along with Tower Bridge Road and Old Kent Road, carrying 30,000 vehicles a day and overwhelming our densely populated neighbourhood. These roads are not part of the Mayor’s proposed Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) nor the new Low Emission Bus Zones, despite diesel buses being the prime culprits and the Elephant & Castle being a hub for so many.
"We need a Right to Clean Air to tackle this crisis quickly and comprehensively.”