Putney MP Calls for a New Clean Air Act

Fleur Anderson marks Clean Air Day by asking the government for action

Fleur Anderson MP saying goodbye to her car
Fleur Anderson MP saying goodbye to her car


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Putney’s MP Fleur Anderson used this Clean Air Day (Thursday 18 June) to call on the Government to take action with a Clean Air Act that will introduce new, enforceable laws on air quality.

She pointed out that Putney High Street is one of the most polluted areas in the country, with illegally high levels of nitrogen dioxide. The area’s busiest road came in second and third place in a survey of London’s pollution hotpots earlier this year.

Fleur attended a meeting of the Putney Society on Monday 14 June to listen to special guest speakers Melissa Compton-Edwards from the grass roots clean air group "Mums for Lungs" and Simon Birkett from "Clean Air in London".

She said, “Clean Air Day is a really important day for raising awareness about the dirty air that we breathe in London and across the country.

“Air pollution is one of the biggest health challenges for my constituents in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields. It makes us ill. There are so many diseases and even premature deaths that are caused by the poor quality of our air.

“Putney High Street is one of the most polluted streets in the country and the closure of Hammersmith Bridge has brought even more traffic to our streets.

“A few weeks ago, a resident showed me her stairs: she had painted them white, but she showed me how black they got because of the air pollution coming through her door. If we could see it, I think we would take air pollution more seriously. It really is the silent killer.

Fleur Anderson MP with her bike
Fleur Anderson MP with her bike

“I have raised this issue in the House eleven times. I also sat on the Environment Bill Committee where I fought to incorporate binding WHO targets on air pollution. I have given up my car and campaigned to increase the availability of bike hangers to help encourage people to leave their cars at home.

“I'm doing all I can but we need the Government to take action. We need more green buses and cleaner heating for our homes. Most of all, we need a Clean Air Act that will introduce new, enforceable laws on air quality.”

She posted a video on Twitter to reinforce her call for legislation and was applauded for doing so by Simon Birkett & the organisers of Clean Air Day.

According to the Evening Standard, ten monitoring sites at pollution epicentres in London are registering average levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) far above the 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air allowed by UK law.

Figures from Public Health England last year revealed that the risk of dying from long-term exposure to London’s air had risen for the third year running. It especially affects the poorer people, who often live on the most affected roads.

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June 18, 2021

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