London’s toxic air means children who grow up in the capital are not being given the best start in life.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is key to cleaning up London’s dirty air. From April it will deter some of the most polluting vehicles from entering central London, with expansion to the North and South circulars in 2021. Consultations have shown there is strong public support for this and more.
As we get closer to the ULEZ’s start date, however, there are those that seek to hold London back without proposing credible solutions. They are playing politics with the health of our children.
Help us remind the Mayor of London that he needs to keep his promises to do everything he can to protect our health from toxic air. Add your name to this open letter to tell the Mayor that the ULEZ is an opportunity that London cannot afford to lose.
Open letter to the Mayor of London
Open Letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Dear Mayor Khan,
We are writing to you as parents, carers, medical and education professionals concerned about the public health crisis caused by London’s illegal levels of air pollution and to express our support for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) being introduced in X weeks.
London’s toxic air means children who grow up in our city are not being given the best start in life. Many breathe in air on a daily basis which is so polluted it can stunt their lung growth, cause asthma attacks and lead to long term health problems. Some studies even suggest that dirty air can affect their ability to learn.
This is not something that our children should have to put up with as an inevitable part of living in a modern global city.
We believe that illegal and harmful air pollution is one of the most important issues facing you as Mayor. That is why we are writing to you to express our strong support for the ULEZ due to be introduced in April and for its expansion to the North and South Circular in 2021. The ULEZ will be a crucial step in creating a healthier city and a healthier future for London’s children.
We remain concerned, however, about those children living outside of the ULEZ. So we urge you to expand the zone to cover the whole of Greater London as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we think it is only right that urgent action is taken to protect children from dangerous levels of air pollution, regardless of where they live in London. So we also urge you to step up the action you are taking around schools, nurseries and playgrounds.
As research has shown, lower income households are often those worst affected by air pollution. Evidence suggests the ULEZ will reduce the health inequalities caused by air pollution in London, which is welcome. We also welcome your scrappage scheme to help people on low incomes and small businesses, and call on the UK Government to do much more to help those on lower incomes.
It is disappointing to see some politicians trying to score points by opposing measures that will protect our children’s health. Air pollution affects us all and is an issue that deserves support from all political parties.
Every child deserves to breathe clean air. They should not forfeit that right just because they grow up in a city. By working with London boroughs to implement the actions outlined above alongside the much needed ULEZ, you could make an even bigger difference to the lives of young people in our capital.
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