Results of the Clean Air Consultation

Thanks so much to the 15,000 Londoners who took part in the Mayor’s consultation on plans to tackle air pollution in the capital. We asked for your views on a range of measures to tackle the city’s air pollution problem in one of the largest public consultations undertaken at City Hall.  

This is clearly an important issue for Londoners.  Around nine in ten of you think that central London has a problem with pollution, while 68 per cent think air quality in your local high street is poor. Inner Londoners, who are especially affected by air pollution, are more likely to perceive a problem in their area. There are some hotspots of pollution, including Marylebone/Edgware Road/ Euston Road, Farringdon, Whitechapel, Angel, Archway, Green Lanes, Peckham Road, and West London along the M4.

New measures to tackle pollution

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and area covering the existing Congestion Charging Zone, is due to be introduced in September 2020. All cars, motorbikes, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will need to meet exhaust emission standards to enter or pay a daily charge. The survey revealed that there is strong public support for bringing forward the implementation of the ULEZ a year earlier, to 2019 (79 per cent).

In addition, 7 in 10 Londoners want the boundaries for the ULEZ to be extended up to the North/South circular or Londonwide for light vehicles.  This rises to 87 per cent for heavy vehicles.


The introduction of an ‘Emissions Surcharge’ from next year was supported by 81 per cent of you. This is an extra charge for the oldest, most polluting vehicles, driving at peak times in the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ). 41 per cent of you think that £10 is the right level of daily charge for vehicles that do not meet emissions standards.

There is widespread support (77 per cent) for the Mayor’s call to Government for a diesel scrappage scheme to help Londoners switch away from polluting cars. 

There was also a large amount of discussion and debate here on Talk London about the potential measures, with hundreds of comments posted on the pros and cons of the suggested measures, plus lots of suggestions of other ways to tackle air pollution.

Many people talked about how we could encourage more people to cycle in the city, “in the centre of London more and more people are choosing to travel by cycle.  And more and more people would cycle if they felt it were safer to do so”. Others spoke about the need improve traffic flow, “look at traffic flow, signalling, light phasing and the loss of London road space which has caused serious congestion”. Other commonly mentioned ideas to improve air quality included more green infrastructure such as living walls or more trees; supporting electric/hybrid vehicle use in London; and slower speed limits or reducing engine idling.

The outcome of this consultation is being used by City Hall and Transport for London to further develop measures for addressing poor air quality. There will be another consultation with Londoners on these detailed proposals in October, with more information provided at in due course.

Some of the consultation results have been acted on immediately – the Mayor has implemented a programme of air quality alerts to the public on high pollution days, after 4-in-5 Londoners said they’d like to receive them. The Mayor has also announced the introduction of Low Emission Bus Zones, prioritising the greenest buses on the worst polluted routes as part of the wider programme to reduce emissions from the capital’s bus fleet.

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to take part in the Clean Air consultation. You can read the full research report on the London Datastore. And of course, please do keep talking to us about your ideas for improving London’s air, here on Talk London. 

13th Sep 2016
9 months ago (4:41 PM)



This consultation is as pointless as EU referendum. I thought we appointed competent politicians to make important decisions for our country / borough / city. Surely we have experts on state payroll that know who the biggest polluters are. Then, it's up to goverment to introduce appropriate alternatives. Get on with it.

Talk London

Hi skywalker,

We strongly feel that consulting Londoners and involving them in discussions and debates about the issues that affect them is important, to help to shape the policies and decisions that are made here at City Hall. There is of course a strong element of expert input, and consideration of the relevant data and evidence base too. 

Of course you may take a different view on this but we do hope you will continue to share your views on this and other issues here on Talk London.


Have just seen in the Westminster Reporter the news that there are 5 areas designated as Low Emissions Neighbourhoods - Marylebone is the one they focus on. I am shocked that residential areas on the south side of Oxford Street have been left out of this initiative, as they also suffer some of the worst air pollution in London. The LEN programme includes having folks in pale blue tabards walking around asking drivers whose engines are running when not needed to turn them off to reduce air pollution. In the winter, and especially in the run-up to Christmas and during the sales, residential side streets running off the south side of Oxford Street are lined with parked cars, usually with a man (sometimes a woman) in each sitting reading behind the wheel while the engine runs to keep the man warm. The rest of the family are off Xmas or sale shopping, and it can be a long, long time before they reappear at the car, arms full of bags and stacks of sales/gifts shopping. Residents in the flats a few feet away have exhaust fumes more or less piped into their flats. Even several floors up the stench of the fumes comes in despite windows being closed. Deliveries, which are at very high levels for Xmas and sales, take place using vehicles that have to reverse to and fro on the corners to get out of these residential side streets, causing traffic jams and yet more air pollution. The side streets in the area from Bond St tube to Marble Arch are more servicing bays for the shops that neighbourhood streets, and I would have thought that the GLA and WCC would have included this area as a LEN, or added it to the Marylebone one at least for the festive and winter sales period.


1. Prioritise and invest in 100% clean transport, especially cycling. 2. Refer to point no. 1.


To solve the air quality problem in London we need to address the biggest offenders. Who are they? They are London's iconic black cabs, running on dirty, inefficient diesel engines. They are diesel powered public buses, many of which run empty and at undercapacity. There are other offenders of course (white panel vans, commercial and construction vehicles for example), but public policy is much better equipped to address the taxis and buses problem - mandate electric/hybrid/zero emission black cabs on an aggressive timeline, reduce the bus fleet to operate it more efficiently and transition it to fuel cell/electric. I have commuted by bicycle through London for 14 years and the worsening of air quality is noticeable. I hate to think what it's doing to my lungs and long-term health prospects


Regarding the Black Cab initiative: Why protect this industry when it has been superceded by a greener, less polluting alternative in the form of Uber? why increase the number of taxi ranks for more dirty diesel taxis to sit and idle in? those financial incentives and grants won't change a thing if they don't actually incentivise a shift in behaviour. Where did the £5000 and £3000 numbers come from? Will they really get the average black cab owner to scrap his or her vehicle and buy a zero emission/hybrid? Mandate the change to lower emmissions, as has been done for the general passenger fleet. Black cabs don't deserve special treatment, and they are some of tthe worst polluting passenger vehicles in London. the engines are underpowered for these heavy vehicles, and the taxis belch exhaust when accelerating from a stop. If someone could post the actual particulate emissions data for black cabs, I'd be very grateful. CO2 isn't as relevant here as the other, health-damaging polutants

Miguel Silva

All taxis on London should be electrical or hydrogen powered, as well as our buses, heavy taxation on entering central London by conventional cars and incentives to do so on Electrical cars, the money collected would help buying buses and schemes for taxi drivers to switch to Electrical.


Air pollution and other forms of environmental pollution have to be tackled urgently by a combination of measures.
Dependancy on cars and motor bikes, to be reduced, in particular in the outer suburbs. Residents in the suburbs are much more dependent on cars and more enthusiastic users than inner London residents. As commuters they contribute disproportionately to air and noise pollution and traffic congestion in both inner and outer London.

Several things contribute to this, for example:
1. distances to and from work.
2. distance to local services, shops, leisure facilities.
3. insufficient provision of public transport.
4. absence of speed bumps and traffic calming measures.
5. pressure on consumers to buy inappropriate and ever larger and more powerful cars.
6. absence of enforcing speed restrictions.
7. near total absence of cycle paths.
8. unpleasant environment for pedestrians.
9. unchecked noise from modified car and motorbike exhausts.

Some solutions:
1. Planning laws to be changed to allow shops and work places in or near residential areas:
Shops on every street corner, small scale work units in every neighbourhood. Result: boost to local employment with reduction in commuter traffic.
- Integrated shop and workshop units mandatory for housing developments.
- Roadside tree planting to be mandatory for housing and commercial developments enshrined at planning stage.
2. Enforce existing laws regarding speed limits and noise. Traffic calming measure introduced in outer London where non-existent, e.g. Bromley.
3. Cycle paths on all major roads in outer London areas with shrub and tree barriers between cycle lanes and roads.
4. Ban HGVs on certain days and times.
5. Scrap Diesel buses.
6. Campaign against litter and rubbish discarded on London streets. Enforcement of existing laws.

Look at international urban examples such as Shanghai. Shanghai is a much cleaner city than London. Filthy London an embarrassment!


Thanks Bernard. A very good summing up of the problems and some good solutions. I would add that we need to get away from privately owned cars which spend most of their lives just cluttering up our cities when they are not polluting them and replacing them with electric car clubs. Plus all delivery vehicles should be electric - what a great example is the electric milk float!


I feel because I like in London I am being picked on, first congestion charge zone 1 wasn't cancelled but the other area of London was, parking can't park where I live can't drive, too much traffic we was told being in the congestion charge roads would be easier for locals to get around wrong!!. People don't come to visit us because they have to pay the congestion charge, don't make us pay more money even thou we live in the area .I feel we are being picked on by the mayor no more charges for people who live in the congestion charge area.


My car is a diesel. Only 3.5 years old - scrapping it would be environmentally outrageous (and financially ruinous). Bought at the time when the Government encouraged us to buy diesel and save the planet (less carbon). I understand the issue with other emissions....and my next car will be petrol or hybrid...but at the time of purchase we were doing "the right thing" according to Government and the press. Any penalty imposed on me for driving this car in a city over the next few years feels inequitable.


Yay. Yet another tax for the motorist. Why don't you get rid of those old black cabs and replace them with electric ones? I often wonder if people in power know what they're doing?


The proposal seems unfair to further penalise owners of classic cars whilst everywhere else in Europe cars over 30 years old have zero road tax here we have to wait until a car is 40 years old and has to pay anvexhorbitantant road tax which is disproportionate to the road usage that most classics enjoy and now you are proposing a further tax upon a tax because the car is old. It is often quoted that a car will cause over ten times the environmental damage in its manufacture than it will cause in its lifetime so in many ways this proposal seems not only to be encouraging the German and Japanese car industries to create more new cars but by implication encourage to further damage to the environment by forcing new demand for them. It always seems that diesel is the main polluters but this seems unfair given the government encouraging people to switch to diesel in the past
The only equitable way of achieving your aims is to tax based upon emissions and usage whilst in the capital - good luck on working that one out

Sandy Anderson

Why complicate things, make it th e congestion charge again and charge £20 per day for non essential users. Encourage deliveries in the night and electric delivery vehicles for daytime.

Arthur Raymond

My wife's car is more than 10 years old. Whilst I, as a haemophiliac, normally drive to St Thomas hospital for regular treatments, there are times, in emergencies, when she has to drive me. It does seem harsh that we should be "penalised" at such trying times.


I don't agree with this new tax. It won't make any good other than gathering extra tax income to local budget. People who don't drive and take underground and busses, do it for the time gain and not for tax saving money. Those that are now driving will do as well with that tax in place, they will just have to pay additionally. This will turn as well in price rising as goods are delivered by trucks or vans. This business will go no matter what tax is in place, the prices will just have to cover the extra cost. I would be interested to see what the authority would do with this extra money! How would they manage to clean the polluted air with this extra money? Banning certain types or aged vehicles might do some good but extra tax makes just a higher living cost for the areas where they are applied.
Some other technical actions can be taken to streamline the roads so the vehicles don't spend time on jammed traffic, running the engines on low speed or on the same spot.


Sounds like a very sensible proposal


Living Breathing Filtering Walls. PLANTS PLANTS PLANTS

Let's cover a significant portion of as many walls as possible with plants.
Living walls will help filter the air. Imagine London this green, an inspiration to all cities. There will be many other advantages too.

I can think of a few standard and affordable ways this can be implemented. This is possible.
Perhaps the Emission surcharge can help pay for towards some of the setup.

I am in favour of taking drastic action to have cleaner air tho breathe. Cut emissions.

The sooner we take action the better.

I would be keen to hear what others think of this.


People don't choose to use cars in London , mostly because the traffic is so bad, they choose to use cars because they have no other option for work or because they cannot use public transport.
Everyone assumes that it is easy to use public transport. It is if you are young and fit.
If you are disabled, injured, old, have young children, luggage or need to transport equipment, it is not. What is the alternative? Public transport is already saturated. Pay for a taxi? What those that need to work?
The air in the tube is just as bad, if not worse. I think the cost of gasoline and insurance makes cars prohibitive enough. Please give people a break. No to extra charges for but yes to improving low emissions technology


Despite the congestion, the difficulty parking and the already high costs, amazingly many people DO still choose to drive private cars in London. This makes me doubtful that piling on extra charges will make a positive difference. The road use debate has become increasingly polarised, and often angry, between different groups of road users but, finally, the only way to improve air quality (and the quality of urban life) is to reduce motor traffic overall. Londoners can all agree that we have a right to breathe clean air, so I would like to see a positive vision that aims to bring us all together. Instead of punitive taxes, let's continue to improve and incentivise the alternatives. This means speeding up the reallocation of road space to more efficient users: buses, cyclists and pedestrians. Committed car drivers will resist, so the benefits need to be sold to them. We don't live in a village, we choose to live in a city, where the streets are (or could be) alive with people and culture and everything is within easy reach. Road traffic carves up and kills communities and high streets, and destroys urban and suburban culture. Cars, in London, are uncool.
High levels of car ownership lead to high levels of car use. I know this from personal experience. In my household (in SW17), we have not owned a car for 16 years. We belong to a car club for when we really need one, but find we very rarely do. The alternatives are better - cheaper, faster and more pleasant. In our case, a stint living abroad prompted the change, but I'm certain others would find the same, if they were encouraged to take the plunge and ditch the car. What we could do with all the road space reclaimed from under-used parked cars! How about a scrappage scheme that incentivises replacing car ownership with car club membership?


Hurry up with the diesel scrappage scheme!


I have a low emission car registered in 2010, but not everyone can afford a newer car . In these times of pay freezes and the future with Brexit. The car owner is expected to take even more on the chin. This is unexceptable for may people especially those that need their car to get to work.


Wow another blanket tax. Fine for everyone who can afford and now has a reason to buy a new car. Understand central but to the North Circular?! Good for the car industry I guess...


My 2003 car is a petrol, and has exactly the same g/ml emissions of the 2006 version. I can't afford a new car. A binary year cut off seems inappropriate, given the road tax is based on the known emissions for your vehicle anyway. The congestion charge itself is misleading, as I thought it was meant to reduce traffic congestion, not air pollution, yet low emission vehicles are exempt. A Prius still takes up room on the road.


ANOTHER TAX. I HAVE 6 VEHICLES THAT ARE OLDER THAN 2005 WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO. I DON'T HAVE £140,000 KICKING AROUND TO BUY NEW VEHICLES. And more than that who do you think is going to pay for this. The money people thinks it is a good idea to add more taxes and they don't realize the food bills, haircut, saloon styling, dentist, doctors, utilities and everything else.People don't realize businesses must pass this on or go out of business. If more businesses close everything will become higher


We need a tax revolt. What do you think Britexit was about. Tired of people in Europe telling us and how to spend our hard earned money. Stop this polutuion nonsense. Get the traffic lights fix and not leave walk lights longer than traffic going. Think about left turn on red after stopping. Think about removing lights as much as possible, Think of intelligent lights that turn green on your side if nobody is coming the other way. Nobody does this and then they complain about pollution. Think about any one way street that were made more than 5 or 10 years ago and see if we need it today. Unless you do about you are not fighting pollution but creating it. We need a new tunnel and we have people up in arms about the pollution; the day in day out backup at the Blackwell tunnel heading north mostly all day and heading south after 14:00- adds much pollution. We shouldn't be talking about a new tunnel we should have done it 5 years ago.


So the answer is to Attucks the poor areas where most people have older cars
I'm sure they would all love a new clean car so another tax I'm sure it's fine for some in the more richer areas but when people are struggling to live with no pay increases and job cuts. Someone thinks tax them so more
Brain dead.

Ingrid lewis

The third runway will be announced next week at Heathrow, what's the point of trying to reduce pollution when this will cause so much more? We already exceed acceptable pollution levels set out by the EU, but I guess that doesn't matter anymore, big business will unfortunately always win against environmental issues and climate change. Only solution is to move out of the hell pit called London, if you can....

Peter Petrou

All Diesel vehicles should be subject to an extra charge ,these are the real killers of Londoners

Peter Petrou

Big four by four vehicles with massive great engines are nearly all diesel ,these are not suitable for our London streets .
Mostly driven by woman to take their little darlings to school .
BAN All DIESELS these are the real killers ,not a few old classic cars .
Taxis pump out loads of diesel fumes.
There are not many old cars being driven around London and they tend to be interesting classic cars .Its great to see these sailing around Londons streets .


I think the government is losing is marbles Mr khan and others before him have screwed Londoners to the door.i have an older vehicles two motorcycles and a car .car and 1 motorcycle is from 1997 and other of my bikes is from 1981 this thought of it going to the north circular is putting me and old vehicle enthusiast under extreme financial pressure I would rather they stopped as this idea is thought up by imbeciles. Think about the hardship your creating I cannot afford a new car or motorcycle


I cannot see how charging the motorist more to use the roads are going to lessen emissions. Surely the best way to tackle it is at the source - the vehicles themselves? give vehicle manufacturers incentive to manufacture vehicles that produce less emissions, and in turn allow motorists to exchange their older cars?

Improve the transport system so that it's sooo good (OK yeah i know.. pipe dream), we don't even need cars to go into central London.

All this is doing (by charging folk) is pushing the problem elsewhere.

We do know it's been the govt's not so secret grand plan for years to make the whole of London a congestion charge zone but other than the money going into the coffers (to do what??) i cannot see the benefit.


Once again we have a answer lets milk the motorist, ? Not a problem its easy cash these people do not drive older cars and vans ( give them time to replace the older motors ) for the fun of it they are the lower paid and cannot afford these types of hikes over a £100 a week to get to work in most case. yes we need to bring the pollution down and you know where most of the pollution is coming from yet you leave them out of the charges. Once again lets rake in a few bob and smash the motorist , It may go towards funding the air pollution on the new flight path at Heathrow or Gatwick ? Planes don't pollute ???? Am I living on another planet or are we being taken for mugs once again , This decision was made and signed off before any discussions were made by the public ,just like the bike lanes that a popping up all over the place they are needed but not in places that have very little bike traffic all that will happen is the traffic gets congested the jams get bigger and the omissions on tick over pollute the air even more. talk about the Muppet's running this country we sure have found them


if you put a comment on here they don't like guess what ? They just don't show it
One sided or what


My apologise it has just shown up


Cycle lanes (& the construction thereof) plus lunatic new traffic restrictions e.g. no left turn from Clapham Road towards The Oval have significantly increased congestion & pollution.


yes I,ve had this problem a lot there too!! I sometime wonder if the TFL guy who works out these ideas does it deliberately to get cyclist wanting more open roads or wether he just does not know what he is doing ? either way its NO GOOD !!

Gordon Hickman

It is all very well going on about vehicles but what about generators there is a company 75 yards from my flat which pumps out more diesel fumes in two minutes than my van has ever pumped out since I bought it new in 1993. Also what about road compressors and narrow boats passing through London these things also burn diesel and belch out fumes with no control. Look at other diesel burning engines other than vehicles that send fumes into the sky with no control, without trucks and buses we would have to go back to the horse and cart is that Khans intention.


Ive said this Gordon reply I got was theres not enough of them to make a difference and the IMPORTANT BIT- YOU CANT CHARGE A GENERATOR OWNER £12.50 A DAY TO RUN IT BUT YOU CAB A DRIVER !!! THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT BUDDY - MONEY FOR TFL...WE ALL KNOW IT...




given that many 'eco' improvements do not result in a total saving to the the environment, some attempt should be made to properly evaluate proposals e.g.

Gordon Brown made the mistake of believing that diesel vehicles were good for the environment, result - everyone is being poisoned by particulates

'combi' boilers are near mandatory as replacement boilers, my plumber mates think your' having a giraffe, everyone knows they fail, and cause more pollution in the total life of an appliance

roger edwards

I think the extension of the pollution zone is a total waste of money. It will cause hardship to the people that can not afford to buy new cars. I have been a mechanic all my life. The answer is , As people buy new models. Their old cars then pass down to the people that can not afford to buy a new cars. And in this way the older vehicles disappear without any hardship to less well off.So I think the extension of the polution zone should be scrapped


I do not think that this new zone is necessary. As new cars are purchased, the older cars are passed down and only a few of the very old models ever remain. These are usually owned by the less well off, As there are so few it will not be worth the tremendous expense of cameras etc. As to the scrappage scheme. Ridiculous


Talk London,

I think this is a bad idea. By choice no one wishes to drive an older car, and no one unless they absolutely have to will drive into London. The Mayors Office over the last 2-3 years have made Emissions in London worse by installing Cycle Lanes in the main access roads of London, cause more stain on the A406 and M25 with the added bonus of decreasing air quality in the Capital. So fix your mistakes rather than punish the unassuming motorist.

By introducing this tax the common man will have difficulty paying, you are aliening the motorists who have to be in London out of necessity.

PLEASE DO NOT INTRODUCE THIS TAX. We already have the Congestion Charge which I believe is enough to deter most drivers who can get other means of transport.




Highly informative.


This is unfair on the residents. We already pay towards the congestion charge. Why pay again for ULEZ? I have read mixed things on this. When is starting? 2017 or 2019?


There are so many black cabs which are registered under 2005, will they have to pay also?




Stop with the extra charges! This has not been thought out properly. How many people can afford to be penalised if they own an older car? They already pay £12.00 so why are you double charging them?. We get enough fines for daring to make any driving errors, plenty of parking fines and huge costs just to park. I have a family and need my car to work and move around. Whilst its not pre 2005 there are many who cant afford to drive in anyway. Love my country but the fees and charges you add as 'extras'are way to punitive.


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