Let’s Clear Some Air – Rap 23 meeting (part 2)

imageNow back to Friday and the Rap 23 meeting. This is a very serious matter for all and THINK won’t let a few Tories distract us.

After Prof Maksmovic’s talk on the serious statistics & possible ways using infrastructure to help combat it, the next speaker was Simon Birkett of Clean Air in London. As well as pointing  out that of course the problem is more serious than we realise. As well as the obvious greenhouse gases, there is local air pollution two main types of  – split between particles and gases – Nitric Oxide is   mainly formed when  fuels are burned , mostly traffic fumes – diesel particularly which produces about 90% of harmful exhaust emissions,  combines with Oxygen in our atmosphere to form Nitrogen Dioxide.

Both types of NO2 are a serious threat to our health and are regularly monitored by scientists. The World Health Organisation legal limit for NO2 levels were in place in 1999 and to be complied with by 2010. Many busy roads in London, including the Westway, are in continuous breach of this (the legal limit of NO2 gases is 18). Also the old road network in London and tall buildings help to trap these harmful gases.

Mr Birkett also pointed out that the existing clean air act is 60 years out of date. So far, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens have all committed to a new clean air act – but the Conservatives haven’t.

Seeing Victoria Borwick and Cllr Robert Freeman in the audience, THINK had hoped that the Conservatives would be making a positive announcement – alas not.

The final speaker was Leonie Cooper, London assembly member and chair of the cross-party environment committee, who pointed out that we have “asks” of our politicians – encourage better road safety for cyclists, higher charges for those from outside our area parking here  and “no idling” zones.

Well, one of our THINKers has seen a few of these “no idling zones” in RBKC and we will take the highly unusual step of thanking our council for this. Ms Cooper also said one “ask” was to  our candidates to commit to a new clean air act.

Well Lady Borwick, THINK asks will you? We wouldn’t like to imagine that yourself and Cllr Freeman just turned up as a PR stunt. Plus many voters in Kensington Constituency are,  thanks to Rap 23 and all the speakers at the meeting, now much more informed as to the severity of the issue – it might just count against you at the election if you don’t…….,




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