Sadiq Khan is just splashing the cash these days. Following the recent news that he's put aside an impressive £770 million for cycling in London, he's now turned his attention to our horrible air pollution problem by promising to spend £875 million over the next five years to clean it up.
If you think that sounds like a huge amount of money, you're not wrong. It's more than double the amount that Boris Johnson had in mind when he was in office. But it seems totally necessary, given the current stats around pollution in this city. Not only do nearly 9,500 Londoners die every year because of air pollution, but our city once again breached the annual limit for nitrogen dioxide within the first week of the year. We just wonder how those air-monitoring pigeons are dealing with it at all, the poor guys.
So how exactly will this bumped-up investment be spent? Well, Sadiq hopes to reduce the numbers of buses on the road and replace whatever's left with zero-emission or hybrid models.
He also wants black cabbies to go green with electric or hydrogen-fuelled cars, while local neighbourhood schemes in Brixton, Putney and Streatham will get funding from the pot to tackle their own pollution hotspots.
It'll work alongside his plans to introduce an ultra-low emissions zone by 2019, where older diesel cars will be charged £12.50 to enter the city, on top of the Congestion Charge.
No doubt, his plans sound like a breath of fresh air – and that would be nice, for a change.Share the story