The London Assembly has called for the Mayor to consider banning diesel cars from the capital. A GLA Study found that London's air quality is currently among the worst in Europe, as well as in the UK.æ Estimates in the Assembly's new report showed that over 3,000 deaths in the capital each year can be attributed to air pollution. The Supreme Court ordered the UK Government to take immediate action in order to tackle the high levels of nitrogen dioxide found in the UK.æ Pollution levels in London at the moment are considered illegal by European Union (EU) standards. The report, 'Driving away from diesel: Reducing air pollution from diesel vehicles' report found that diesel road traffic is currently responsible for around 40 per cent of the capital's nitrogen oxide emissions. A number of recommendations that could help clean up the capital's air quality are included within the report, including:
- An introduction of a wider and stronger Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) before 2020.
- The introduction of a scrappage scheme linked to replacing non-compliant vehicles with those that are low-emission.
- A plan for introducing zero-emission capable taxis from 2018, with concrete details as to how the scheme will be delivered.
- A plan to demonstrate how London will meet European air pollution limits by 2020.
Stephen Knight, environment committee member, said: "The committee has been pushing for NO2 compliance for some time now but following the judgment from the Supreme Court in April, the Government is now obliged to act by law. "We urge the Mayor and the Government to take our recommendations on board and we call on the Mayor to finally take ownership of the matter in order to help London's air quality meet legal limits."