Coalition of organisations asked for a promise to boost walking and cycling, and combat harmful traffic emissions

London Mayor candidates called on to pledge to ease air pollution

Ten organisations have called on the London Assembly to back a major increase in investment in cycling and walking to combat the rise in harmful emissions from motor traffic.

In 2008, an estimated 4,300 deaths in London were attributable to long-term exposure to dangerous airborne particles, according to Mayor Johnson. A recent Sustrans study showed air quality on London Greenways (lightly trafficked streets, parks and green spaces) were significantly better than on adjacent busy roads – highlighting the wide range of benefits that come through investment in walking and cycling investment, Sustrans said.

The ten-strong coalition called on the London Assembly to endorse the following motion: “We call on the Mayor to commit to a major increase in investment in walking and cycling as part of wider approaches towards the reduction of harmful emissions from road transport. We also call on the Mayor to make resources available for the education and involvement of communities in local air quality monitoring.”

Sustrans, Association of Directors of Public Health, Campaign for Better Transport, Clean Air in London, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), Environmental Protection UK (EPUK), Healthy Air Campaign, London Play, Mapping for Change and the Ramblers make up the coalition calling for change.

Sustrans added: “People in London must be warned about the dangers of invisible air pollution so they can protect themselves and reduce pollution for themselves and others.

"The Mayor and mayoral candidates must commit to improving public understanding around air quality and help people to make choices which are better for them.”

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