Air pollution death rates up in half of London boroughs

Deaths due to poor air quality in London have gone up in almost half of London boroughs, figures from the Department of Health show.

The borough of Hillingdon in West London recorded the greatest increase in deaths due to air pollution, up by 6.86%.

However, the City of London was the worst-performing borough in the country, with 8.94% of total deaths attributable to dangerous airborne gasses.

Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea closely followed.

Around 4,000 Londoners die every year due to air pollution and the problem has worsened in 15 of 33 London boroughs, the figures - which are for 2011 - show.

Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones said: “It is extremely disappointing that so many Londoners are being exposed to even higher levels of pollution from vehicles.

“The Mayor tells us he is acting to reduce pollution, but whatever he is doing, it’s clearly not enough. He must act now to bring effective measures to protect Londoners from excessive, dangerous and illegal levels of vehicular pollution.”

A spokesman for London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “Since the Mayor took office emissions of oxides of nitrogen are down by an estimated 20%.

“That is because of an ambitious package of 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.”

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