The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the Government to grant him additional powers so that he can effectively tackle non-road pollution sources in the capital.
Only half of the capital’s air pollution is caused by on-road vehicles and Mr Sadiq believes London needs more powers so that it can combat pollution from the River Thames, emissions from machinery used on construction sites and pollution from the domestic burning of solid fuels, the Greater London Authority informed.
“With more than 400 schools located in areas exceeding legal pollution levels, and such significant health impacts on our most vulnerable communities, we cannot wait any longer and I am calling on Government to provide the capital with the necessary powers to effectively tackle harmful emissions from a variety of sources,” said Mr Sadiq Khan.
Specifically, Mr Sadiq wants to see the regulations simplified so that there is a single regulator with the ability to charge and enforce and a single emissions control framework. The body would also be able to set minimum emission and other technical standards for specific classes or types of vessels, providing clarity for local, national and international shipping accessing the Thames and canals.
In the meantime, in the field of transport, the new Woolwich Ferries that will be entering in to service next year will be some of the cleanest vessels working on the river. Transport of London will also shortly be retro-fitting a Thames Clipper boat with emissions-reduction technology. If successful, this could provide an important example of how existing boats can reduce their pollution.
The Mayor currently does not have any formal powers to control emissions from vessels on the River Thames or the canal network, but has recently set up a Thames and London Waterways Forum, which will bring together the regulators and other stakeholders to ensure that growth in the use of London’s waterways is co-ordinated and sustainable.
Since Mr Sadiq becoming Mayor, London has more than doubled investment in tackling air quality to £875 million over the next five years, GLA noted.