Press Release

Our response to new data linking air pollution exposure with increased COVID-19 hospitalisation

Responding to a new research report which has found a link between a person’s exposure to air pollution and the severity with which they will experience the effects of COVID-19, Rob Whitehead, Director of Strategic Projects at Centre for London said:

“This latest research shows that reducing air pollution is crucial in the fight against COVID-19, and protecting the health of our communities.

“London still exceeds legal air pollution limits many times over, despite the attempts of successive mayors to tackle this crisis.

“Around half of air pollution comes from road transport, so we must find new ways to significantly reduce vehicle-related pollution. Autumn’s expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone will be a huge step, but tackling the remaining hotspots that have the filthiest air will need City Hall to be bolder and adopt a pay-per-mile road user charging scheme. This would deliver cleaner air, more active travel and reduce congestion, as well as providing a substantial income stream to help plug TfL’s finances.

“The city also needs more devolution so that it can tackle the other sources of poor air quality other than road vehicles”