Press Release

Response to government on joint committee air quality report

Responding to the publication of the government’s response to the joint committee report on air quality, and to calls made at the National Clean Air Summit ahead of Clean Air Day, Silviya Barrett, Research Manager at Centre for London said:

“The government’s response signals a weakening commitment to reducing the use of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars on our roads. Air pollution from roads is now a national crisis, contributing to hundreds of thousands of years taken off the lives of Londoners. We need more urgent action to remove the most polluting vehicles from our roads and reduce vehicle numbers overall.

“Centre for London applauds the Mayor of London’s efforts to reduce emissions and tackle air pollution, by encouraging the take-up of low- and zero-emissions vehicles. However, we cannot ignore the fact that these vehicles also produce non-tailpipe emissions (from brake, tyre and road wear) that have been proven to be just as harmful to public health.

“We also support the Mayor’s call for a national vehicle renewal scheme to replace older polluting vehicles, but he could take further action by investing some of the proceeds from the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) into a cashback scrappage scheme for frequent payers of the ULEZ charge.

“Above all, the government needs to support cities’ ambitions to improve air quality by enforcing strict limits on air pollution, as well as investing in public transport, cycling infrastructure and high quality public realm to encourage active mobility”


Centre for London is holding a conference, Under Pressure, produced in partnership with Transport for London on Wednesday July 4. Under Pressure will explore the future of mobility and place in London, and consider the practical implications of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

Centre for London convened an independent Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Street in 2017 which put forward recommendations to manage the conflicting pressures on the capital’s surface transport system and public realm. Read Street Smarts here.