So far this year, 60 deaths in Richmond upon Thames and 51 deaths in Kingston upon Thames can be reasonably attributed to human made air pollution. (source: cleanairinlondon.org)
Across London, thousands of people a year are dying and many more getting ill from the pollutants present in the diesel engines of old, polluting vehicles.
Progress under both Mayor Livingstone and Mayor Johnson has been woeful. London has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution of any capital city in Europe. Concentrations of dangerous airborne particles (PM10) breach legal limits in several parts of the city.
If this was a visible killer, I am convinced more would have been done by now. But because it is hidden, the public outcry has so far been muted. We must change that.
That is why I support an ultra-low emissions zone in London, which I am delighted is finally on the agenda.
However the Conservative scheme, announced by Boris Johnson this week, is too little, and too slow.
What is needed is a restriction so that only those vehicles which have zero or near-zero tailpipe emissions can enter central London. This would have a positive knock-on impact on us in the outer boroughs because there would be fewer polluting vehicles on the road. It would be accompanied by incentives for Londoners to retrofit or scrap old polluting vehicles.
Yet under Mayor Johnson's plans, the polluting vehicles can still enter central London as long as they pay a fee.
This should not be about revenue-generation. It should be about public health. If you agree, there are two things you can do:
1. Sign my petition today
2. Please respond to the Mayor's consultation and make the case for GENUINE ultra-low emissions zone for central London
Together, we can help save lives and improve the health of people all over Greater London.