Mayor of London visits to launch clean air scheme
Posted on Tuesday 9th April 2019
The Mayor of London met with patients and families.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, visited Evelina London to meet families and staff to talk about the importance of reducing toxic air pollution. His visit marked the launch of the world’s first 24 hour Ultra Low Emission Zone.
The Mayor has introduced a vehicle emissions standard in central London to help reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health. He launched the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) as he visited young patients and staff.
This year, we are celebrating 150 years of Evelina London, caring for children and young people in a busy London location since 1869. Located on Lambeth Palace Road in Westminster, our children’s hospital is within the ULEZ and part of a scheme to track air quality, funded by the Mayor.
Claire Lemer, Clinical Director at Evelina London, said: “Evelina London cares for more than 95,000 children and young people with a range of illnesses every year across our hospital and community services. Sadly, there’s not a day that goes by when we don’t see a child with asthma on our wards. This initiative will help to improve the lives of children in the city, reducing unnecessary visits to hospital and helping them to lead healthier lives.”
During his visit the Mayor took part in a craft workshop with patients, painting colourful bicycles, adding his pledge to their giant display and talking to young people about travelling around London. He then visited dialysis patients on Beach ward to see a healthy air display and meet five year old Cruz and six year old Alex, who visit the hospital three times a week for dialysis.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "It was a huge pleasure to visit Evelina London and meet the families under their expert care – who will directly benefit from the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone and our fight for cleaner air.
“The all-round care that Evelina London provides offers support to the whole family, something I saw first-hand on my visit. We should all be proud of the fantastic work Evelina London is doing in our city."
The most recent data on air pollution in London reveals that more than two million Londoners still live in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2, including 400,000 children under the age of 18.
King’s College London research has found that, if changes had not been made to tackle pollution, London’s air would not be compliant with legal limits for another 193 years. However, with the Mayor’s air pollution measures, King’s College analysis indicates that London’s air will reach legal limits in six years.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has also been taking steps to contribute to cleaner air. The vast majority of vehicles used by the Trust meet the new standard and plans are already in motion to address the few that aren’t. As part of a wider “green” initiative, the Trust will trial cargo bikes in partnership with pathology provider, Viapath, to transport blood products between sites. It will replace an hourly motorbike or van courier service between the two hospitals.
Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London’s harmful air emissions. The ULEZ will help address London’s toxic air health crisis that currently leads to thousands of premature deaths annually, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia.
Thousands of motorists have already started to change their behaviour by driving less polluting vehicles into central London, and using cleaner transport alternatives including walking or cycling, and public transport.
The ULEZ is part of a range of measures the Mayor has implemented to tackle London’s toxic air. Seventy-five per cent of all Transport for London buses meet or exceed the new emission standards, and by October 2020, every bus in London will meet or exceed the ULEZ standards – making London’s famous red buses go green.
You can find out more about the ULEZ on the Transport for London website.