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Two closely associated health charities, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, are calling for the ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) to be extended to cover the whole of London in order to improve the health of sufferers from asthma and other lung diseases.

The ULEZ currently covers the same area as the Central London Congestion Zone, but under plans brought in by the current mayor, Sadiq Khan, it will be extended in October as far as the North and South Circular Roads - though neither of these busy roads will be within the zone. However, the charities say that in the parts of outer London that won't fall within the extended zone there are 360,000 asthma sufferers. This figure has been calculated by the Taskforce for Lung Health by analysing GP patient records.

The call for a capital-wide ULEZ, which was included in the British Lung Foundation's manifesto for next month's elections, was repeated by the charities' policy officer Zak Bond when interviewed by BBC London's Tom Edwards.

Not only do the current mayor's ULEZ plans fall short of what the charities are asking for, but Sadiq Khan's main rival for the mayoralty, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, has said that if he wins next month's election he will cancel the planned ULEZ expansion. By contrast, the Green Party's candidate, Sian Berry, says she will extend it to cover the whole of the GLA area as an interim measure before introducing a smart road pricing system. LibDem candidate Luisa Porritt also favours smart road pricing.

What the British Lung Foundation is asking of the next Mayor of London

british lung foundation logoIn May 2021, London is going to the polls. It's time for London to choose its next mayor, and we want to make sure clean air is at the top of their agenda.

To clean up the air the next mayor needs to:  

  1. Expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across all London boroughs, to protect far more Londoners. Including schemes to financially support those who are less well-off and people with a lung condition move to cleaner forms of transport.     
  2. Deliver safer air around schools, hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, through pollution-busting traffic reduction schemes and behaviour change programmes.  
  3. Promote and facilitate active travel, including funding for walking and cycling schemes, and provide support for ambitious action from the boroughs.     
  4. Ensure that all transport fleets across London are cleaned up. This should include buses, taxis and private hire vehicles.  


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