Close to a third of the borough’s roads will experience illegal and harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO²) within seven years, new figures have revealed.
Scientific research indicates that long-term exposure to NO², which is emitted by car engines, can affect lung function and increase asthma symptoms.
The latest study, carried out on behalf of the Mayor of London’s Office, suggests that in 2020, levels of the gas will be above the acceptable limit in 31 per cent of the roads in Hillingdon. This will affect three schools and 146 bus stops.
Jenny Jones, London Assembly Green Party member, said: “Boris Johnson’s and the government’s dithering on tackling air pollution meant we missed meeting legal limits on the harmful to human health emission of nitrogen dioxide in 2010, and will still be over the limits a decade later.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Johnson said: “Since the mayor took office, emissions of oxides of nitrogen are down by an estimated 20 per cent.
“That is because of an ambitious package of London -wide measures, including building Europe’s largest fleet of low emission hybrid buses, retiring the oldest taxis and introducing tighter emission standards for lorries and vans.
“Clearly there is still more to do, which is why the mayor has just allocated the first £5.4million of his new £20m Air Quality Fund to help boroughs tackle local air pollution.”
Last December, Hayes and Harlington Labour MP John McDonnell started his own clean air campaign, to point out the poor quality of air in the south of the borough brought about by the twin problems of traffic and airport emissions, and to try to get something done about it.