As pollution levels soar, the City of London calls for businesses to act urgently

Fewer deliveries and earlier action required to combat poor air quality

Parts of the UK could reach the highest levels of air pollution today, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has warned.

In London and the south east, pollution levels could hit level 10, as warm weather, local traffic fumes and some fumes from continental Europe have converged.

In addition, Saharan dust has been detected, and is making the problem worse.

People with heart or lung conditions are advised to avoid strenuous activity, and sports and physical exertion outside should be avoided by all, the government has said.

The City of London has waded into the issue to call on businesses to take action to reduce the smog.

According to the Financial Times, it is calling for businesses to cut the number of deliveries they receive, and to use more hybrid taxis.

Jon Averns, public protection director at the City of London Corporation, said companies should look at the possibility of using fewer diesel powered vehicles.

“We would like to see earlier action to control emissions,” he said.

Simon Birkett, founder of campaign group Clean Air in London said: “Day in day out the average levels of nitrogen dioxide on many roads in central London will tend on average to be the highest in the world.

“If there is one lesson this week, it’s that we must follow the lead of cities like Paris that are issuing public health warnings, restricting traffic and putting forward ambitious plans to triple cycling rates within five years.”

London’s air is the worst in the country and pollution levels frequently make it the worst in Europe.

In January pollution levels on Oxford Street breached the EU’s entire annual legal limit just four days into the New Year.

Air pollution April

Source: Defra

According to Defra, the current smog should lift over the weekend.

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