Air pollution: Barnet Labour call for Government to support Mayor of London's diesel scrappage fund

Barnet's Labour councillors are calling for the Government to support Mayor Sadiq Khan's proposals for a diesel scrappage fund of up to £515 million to help tackle unlawful, poisonous air pollution in the borough and London.

The Mayor's scheme would financially compensate diesel vehicle owners with payments of £3,500 each for up to 70,000 polluting London van and minibus drivers to buy cleaner vehicles, £2,000 credit scheme to help low-income London families scrap up to 130,000 cars, and £1,000 to help scrap London’s oldest taxis - with additional support by the Mayor.

Diesel vehicles, many of which were purchased by people incorrectly believing them to be less polluting, are huge contributors to toxic air, especially around major Transport for London roads in Barnet where EU legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide have been breached, with fifteen Barnet schools located nearby.

Labour councillors have raised unlawful air pollution around these 15 schools at the Council's Environment Committee and at last night's Full Council meeting (4 April). They highlighted ten key actions being taken by the Mayor of London to deal with the issue, including the £10 T-charge on the most polluting vehicles in central London, the London Ultra Low Emmission Zone, doubling funding for air quality to £875 million, putting the cleanest buses on the road in 12 low emission bus zones, auditing 50 of the most polluted areas around schools, and lobbying the Government to fund the diesel scrappage scheme.

Cllr Adam Langleben, West Hendon ward - where four of the 15 most polluted schools are located said: "There has been a step-change in dealing with air pollution under our new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, but he has limited powers.

"That's why it is crucial that the Government fund his proposal for a diesel scrappage scheme - without a clear plan to deal with diesel vehicles London's air will not improve.

"It is a shame that the Tories felt they could not support our motion on these issues at last night's meeting - this is not a party political issue, and we all need to get behind the Mayor to get action on air pollution."

Ends.
Notes:

1. A copy of Cllr Langleben's motions at last night's Council meeting can be found here:

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s39087/15.2%20-%20Opposition%20Amendment%20-%20Cllr%20Adam%20Langleben%20-%20Trunk%20roads%20air%20pollution.pdf

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s38985/Opposition%20Motion%20in%20the%20name%20of%20Cllr%20Adam%20Langleben%20-%20Tackling%20air%20pollution%20around%20Barnet%20schools.pdf

2. For more on the 15 Barnet schools where legal NO2 levels have been breached see:

http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/fifteen_barnet_schools_near_areas_where_pollution_breaches_eu_legal_limits

3. For more information on the diesel scrappage proposal see: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-urges-government-over-diesel-scrappage-fund

For more information contact Cllr Adam Langleben: cllr.a.langleben@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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