The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham have produced an Air Quality Action Plan which is now open to public consultation. In summary, their proposals include:
- Launching an electric vehicle hiring scheme – with a year’s free membership for local people,
- Encouraging people to use electric vehicles by extending their network of charging bays,
- Fining drivers who leave their engines running unnecessarily
- Becoming the leading cycle-friendly borough in London with cycle quietways, cycle storage and cycle superhighways,
- Encouraging more walking by tackling congestion, traffic speeds and by providing more greenery,
- Reducing fossil-fuel boilers by replacing them with ultra-low nitrogen oxide boilers and ensuring energy plants are regulated through the planning process.
Not too many surprises there apart from the last one perhaps. But in the detail of the plan there is some surprising information. For example, it shows that as regards the impact of road transport on PM10, some 76% of them come from tyre and brake wear rather than engine tailpipe emissions.
Even more noteworthy is a statement on page 13 that they estimate that by 2020 emissions from road transport will reduce so much that it is projected that domestic and commercial gas sources will become the largest contributor of NOX in the borough, relegating transport to second place.
So will Mayor Sadiq Khan penalise inefficient and older heating boilers soon by forcing users to upgrade them, or imposing “emission charges” on them in the same way he has done for older car users?
It would be rational if he did, and clearly much more needs to be done to suppress dust on London’s streets. It was interesting watching an old film recently on television, the Blue Lamp, set in 1950, which showed water being sprayed from tankers to do just that. Perhaps we should reintroduce them. Other European cities use them. Or are they already being used in London but I don’t get up early enough to see them?
The H&F Draft Action Plan can be read here: https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/sites/default/files/section_attachments/hf_draft_air_quality_action_plan_2018-2023.pdf
Local residents should submit some comments.