Close to home, for those living near the South Circular
Invisible killer: how one girl’s tragic death could change the air pollution story
This will be an important legal ruling. I think it could be a long case with a lot of expert witnesses and scientific evidence presented. Even if it is agreed that air pollution was cause of death or a contributory factor, a further issue could be whether a single source of pollution can be positively identified.
Here is a link to an article on just one source group of pollutants besides road traffic vehicles:
My sympathies with the family, and I hope they can find peace of mind following this catastrophe - the loss of a child.
I listened, with a huge lump in my throat, to the mother talking about this on LBC radio this afternoon and I was amazed by both her strength and dignity after what her daughter had suffered.
Yes, this is one story I am following with great interest.
A nine-year-old girl who died following an asthma attack has become the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.
The irony now is that the extension of the ULTRA LOW EMISSIONS ZONE will make the South Circular road the chosen/FREE by-pass route for the HIGHER POLLUTING vehicles, thereby intensifying the concentration of harmful emissions and INCREASING the threat of serious illness to asthma sufferers and others who live, work or otherwise need to go nearby this toxic corridor.
I understand that there are supposed to be some mitigation measures, but I can’t imagine, with the serious implications of this verdict, they will be anywhere near effective enough to deal with the problem.
How many lives do you think the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone will save within the North & South circular?
I hope councils and Mayor will measure the effects of ULEZ both inside and outside the zone?
She lived on the boundary, she died. So, not many then.
Do you think there has only been one premature death in the country linked to air pollution? Ok.
Is that a serious question?
I’m just an angry old bloke who doesn’t have any of the factual data that local concillors have at their fingertips - so instead of being all cocky, why don’t you simply do your job and, perhaps, concentrate on the part of my post that you might actually be able to help with and let us know about the mitigation measures that will be put in place?
Yes. I want you to view the bigger picture and think about the millions of lives that will be likely be improved within the north & south circular. I’m sure we, Lewisham Council & TFL, will measure the impact on air quality inside and outside the extended ULEZ and make a judgement on its future based on the greater good for all Londoners.
Do the council and the (useless) Mayor of London have any plans to actually tackle air pollution, as opposed to concentrating congestion in unlucky areas, shuffling pollution and fining people for going about their daily business?
Here are some positive suggestions:
Plant lots of trees (rather than chopping them down).
Put a limit on the densification of London rather than continuing the ideological house-building and Population Ponzi Scheme, with all the extra pollution this entails.
Look at the below image.
If you see this and conclude “this area needs more urbanisation,” then you need to give your head a good wobble. If you cannot afford to live there, do what everyone else does, and go live somewhere you can afford to. Don’t demand that more houses are built in London in some perverse attempt at manipulating prices.
Embrace the electric future of transport - starting with promoting (not trying to cancel) Uber. End the special treatment of the Black Cab lobby. Why should their overpriced diesel-chugging often-empty vehicles get privileged access to bus lanes? Incentivise zero emissions vehicles by allowing them into bus lanes (reducing congestion in other lanes). And build more chargers and protect them with anti-ICEing enforcement.
Get those god-awful diesel busses off the road!
Stop making things worse and start making things better.
So that was a serious question - to me. Well how the hell do I know!
I can just see imagine every driver who can’t afford a non-polluting car or the £12.50/day charge, who might otherwise be able to filter their way to their destination, will instead be chugging slowly (at a walking pace) along the S.Circ and some of our other roads (on the periphery of the ULEZ), like Dartmouth Road, which I envisage suffering more concentrated and higher levels of pollution than they do today; and this bothers me because I feel a particular responsibility for my residential and commercial tenants and their respective customers (on D. Rd), all of whom could be adversely affected because they need to live, work and walk alongside what will inevitably be a slower and more regular traffic jam between Forest Hill station and the swimming pools, which is my reason for being interested what you might have to say about mitigation measures for them (and other Lewisham residents), after which I might be more inclined to open my mind up to your ‘bigger picture’.
Well all have a responabilty to drive less. There is always a lot of defensive jusitifcation from people whenever air pollution or congestion is mentioned that THEIR car use is justified and essential. Not like others obviously.
We all need to do better here.
We all need to think better.
And we need to do away with attitudes and policies that pit residents against residents. The path to lower emissions is a positive one. Not a stupid and counterproductive war where those who rely on vehicles and the road network (which is all of us, directly or indirectly) must lose.
I guess people are relying on the councillors of SE23 to stand up for the needs of their local areas.
It is great news that the majority of people in London should benefit from ulez extension.
However, the majority of people in SE23 live within 0.5 or 1 mile of the South Circ, and therefore are likely to be negatively impacted if the South Circ sees more traffic as a consequence.
It’d be good to know what plans are in place to ensure ulez extension works just as well for SE23 residents, as for other living miles away in inner London who definitely will benefit from cleaner air.
(I am not a car driver).
Meanwhile on the same day as the inquest, Lewisham approved plans to build Blackheath Business Estate, 63 flats next to the A2, also removing 36 mature trees in the process:
Note, I’ve highlighted the roles of our local councillors, and while the article may have some bias, and I recognise there is a shortage of affordable housing, it does seem to be some kind of madness to chop down trees to build flats in already polluted areas.
I totally agree.
Being an angry old bloke, and one who’s OldtoSE, I’m afraid I rant too much to be able to put a point forward as rationally as you’ve done here.
Hopefully @LeoGibbons will come back on to tell us what pollution mitigation measures are being put into place that will make the extended ULEZ benefit his constituents and everyone in SE23 so that it can truly be seen to be for “the greater good for all Londoners”, as he says.
How is this:
Compatible with this?:
The arguments that London is full and too densely populated are tired, London is a sprawling low density city compared to many others with better air quality.
Personally I live only a few minutes walk from the south circular so stand to see the downsides of this close to my flat, but I don’t think not doing it is better. As with LTNs, I expect the ultimate aim will be to discourage car use rather than shift it elsewhere (and in this case targeted at the higher polluting cars) to transport modes that are less detrimental and I support that even if it takes time to come to fruition. Surely these same arguments could have also been made by anyone on the edge of the CC zone, or any road that benefits from traffic calming - doing nothing doesn’t help anyone.
Let me explain it to you.
A two-tier system where the council chooses:
- some people to receive half-price housing
- everyone else to pay for the chosen few to receive this discount, in addition to paying for their own full-price housing
Is divisive, and pits residents against residents.
Thank you for trying to explain but now I’m really not sure what you’re talking about… At what point in housebuilding considerations does a council choose to give some of the properties away at half price to certain people?
I’m not getting drawn into a ping-pong side discussion with you, so I’ll leave it at this: Have a read of the 853 article provided by @ForestHull above, which states that the residents chosen to live in “affordable house” will pay just half of the real-world market rent.
So be it, but on your final point the affordable rents offered are hardly a random giveaway, they apply to those eligible to social housing and therefore have a means test applied, and as a condition of planning it isn’t clear that this does impose a cost on anyone other than the housebuilder. Remember, we need to do away with attitudes and policies that pit residents against residents.
it would be good to understand what the plans are yes. if there are plans, and said plans are robust, then there will be no issue. better to share the info with us now.
I totally agree with you.
I think we often need to think of the smaller picture first and what our local politicians can control.
Most people support a school street for Thorpewood Avenue but don’t understand why it should exclude the kids from the school with classroom windows 4 metres away from the road and only be for the benefit of the kids in classrooms 40 metres away from traffic. It will halve the pollution for the kids far away which is great while doubling the pollution for those near to it which isn’t right.
I did ask the council if they have looked at the impact to the Dartmouth Road junction beside Holy Trinity school of making it the only exit from Thorpewood but they told me they only measured through traffic from Kirkdale outside Eliot Bank. I would be sceptical about Lewisham measuring any impact for the ULEZ as they can’t seem to do the basics on a small scheme.
One of the consequences of the school scheme is a permanent one way street on half of Thorpewood. This seems to be a disproportionate measure as residents not benefiting from the scheme instead of having 10 hours of inconvenience per week will have 168 hours of extra pollution and cost. It means that traffic will only have one exit instead of 2 currently and will have to travel a longer distance.
Below is a simple map of the journey a local resident living below the school street can take out via Kirkdale which is about 300 metres to exit if they want to go towards Dulwich, the second map shows the journey after the one way is imposed which takes 1.15km, a difference of approximately 1km.
Journey Before One-Way 299.50m
Journey After One-Way 1.15Km
This new route will cost a local resident who drives daily an extra £100 a year, the occasional motorist who only makes the journey twice a week about £30. This is based on the HMRC mileage allowance rate which takes into account fuel, wear and tear.
Cost is only one thing. The new route forces cars past Holy Trinity School and many other residents, braking outside the school and discharging brake dust with cyanide particles. This will add up to 5 minutes to local residents’ journeys and worst of all add about half a million grams of Carbon Dioxide to the local area. This is estimated based on council lockdown traffic figures for Thorpewood Avenue which are probably less than half of what traffic is normally like so probably more likely to be an extra million grams of CO2 for residents and children not chosen by our local councillors. CO2 figures per car comes from BBC.com.
I think we need something like a pollution ombudsman to hold the council to account to give them a financial incentive to mitigate toxic air for all residents whether caused by external issues such as the South Circular/ULEZ or their local schemes.
We have a profound housing crisis. Under the draft London Plan we have a target of building 2,117 additional dwellings per year.
- The scheme would replenish greenery on the site and it was argued it would improve biodiversity on the site.
- Desperately needed new homes would be built, including new social homes, and crucial new high-quality business space. The homes were of a good quality, replacing an unattractive low-density business space.
- When putting forward my motion, I acknowledged that the development may have a negative impact on Cardinal House and Chalkhill House residents, as they will be looking onto a ‘green wall’ rather than some trees. However, on balance, this development was in line with our policies and offered the greater good to our wider community.
- I think densifying London with new homes, releasing people from overcrowded homes and allowing more people to live close to public transport hubs and the jobs/amenities of central London, will improve our pollution and climate. Low density, urban sprawl is bad for the environment.
No we don’t. UK housing stock is plentiful and there’s enough for everyone.
The problem is actually that we have a profound entitlement crisis.
People think they are entitled to live wherever they like, regardless of their means.
The clamour for London (and the see-saw effect of the two-tier housing system created by the welfare state) has elevated market prices to silly levels which will hopefully be corrected by a market crash or a firesale of authority-run housing on to the real market (or, even better, both)
Meanwhile houses sell in northern towns for literally £1. People need to get their heads out the London bubble. Out of the metropolitan, city-obsessed mindset.
And our councils need to stop treating people as if they have a god-given right to live wherever they fancy.
I’d love you to see where I now live. I could show you how the air quality differs between high density London and a low density area like mine. You can literally taste the difference in air quality.
I firmly resist the council’s appetite for sprawl here, just as I resisted the council’s densification of London while I was there.
I believe that a reason why this country is in a bit of a mess is because politicians too often focus on short-term gain and narrow interests groups. For example, see my glib views on Tory MPs trying to prevent new homes being built in their shires https://twitter.com/Layo_GP/status/1339163374916079618
I will certainly speak with our Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment and ask them for details on pollution mitigation works on the South Circular to placed alongside the ULEZ expansion.
I’ll try and gather in members from Crofton park, Perry Vale, Rushey Green, Catford South and Lee Green, Grove Park as well, who would likely also be keen to push for info on this as well.
Once I have some information for you from the Cabinet Member and/or TFL, I’ll share it with you on here.
You speak as if this is categorically wrong.
It’s not. Ordinary people living in “shires” love our shires and want to conserve their beauty, and conserve the natural environment. And we tend to vote for politicians that conserve.
Only in the London bubble would we be written off as a fringe “narrow interest group”:
If you want to make London even more crowded, polluted and miserable that’s your prerogative. But please don’t criticise politicians elsewhere who are listening to the people that elected them, and who are conserving beautiful parts of the U.K.
That seems to be a very good piece of advice.
Lol I once travelled around our luscious green belt with my old boss to take snaps of beautiful land protected from the development of new housing. This is what we found. http://www.siobhainmcdonagh.org.uk/campaigns/londons-green-belt.aspx
Allow me to paraphrase.
You visited a run-down outer borough of London and cherry-picked an ugly piece of green belt land to photograph.
You used this anecdote as the basis of an opinion piece to promote building housing over green belt land to further your two tier housing policy.
The effect of your policy, aside from concreting over precious green space, is to artificially reduce prices for some residents (mostly Labour voters) while increasing prices for everyone else.
@PV erroneously stated that it’s developers that fund affordable housing. It’s not. The cost of building these houses is actually passed to us - the taxpayers who are only allowed to buy the more expensive tranche of housing from those developers.
Luckily, since you’re a London politician you have little power to concrete over our green belt. You are a safe distance from the areas of outstanding natural beauty that exist in Tory-voting “shires”
Source please? Could it not be the case that the cost is sucked up by the developer as a condition of the planning process and that the sale price of the accomodation is largely set by the wider market? I doubt that if these conditions were disapplied the developer would generously cut costs of their other properties.
Developers don’t have a magic money tree that they can use to fund the changing whims of politicians.
Developers exist in the real world, where money is finite and costs must be passed to customers.
No need to be so patronising Chris
Of course, developments aren’t built and sold at cost price, there’s a profit margin that can grow and shrink dependent upon costs without necessarily passing those costs on to consumers. Losing income due to inclusion of affordable rents doesn’t necessarily mean other rents must be higher, it might still be profitable for the developer, and raising their other rents may make their properties uncompetitive. I accept this isn’t guaranteed to be the case, but you’re wrong to act like it’s stupid to think otherwise.
Thank you for your response, which is an interesting insight as I believe some of the councillors’ discussions were held outside the planning meeting for the Blackheath development and so not seen or minuted (that’s not a criticism by the way, just process).
While there may be a housing crisis and targets to meet, I still don’t understand the argument for ‘densification’. I think people love London because of all the opportunities, both in work and leisure, that are offered - normally there’s literally so much to do here. But most of this involves travel - entertainment venues are spread out and places of work are varied and all over the place.
Given London transport networks are essentially full, it doesn’t seem like there should be capacity to keep building upwards when we can’t easily provide transport or services to match.
I guess the Covid global recession changes some things with remote working and such, but it also seems to be cutting back public transport e.g. Bakerloo line extension postponed, TfL cutting services. This can only push towards more private vehicles, congestion, traffic and pollution.
I think ‘densification’ could only work if you were to create lots of little communities which could each be completely satisfied within a few square miles (i.e. an area that can practically be walked or cycled), something like a series of villages as it were, but I think London grew beyond that model some centuries ago.
Thank you @BorderPaul for that brilliant reply and illustration.
So you’re the councillor who expected me to know how many lives the ULEZ will save within the North and South Circular and yet you don’t even know what’s going on just down the road!
At least you’re now, belatedly, going to try to learn what these mitigation measures are and you’ll be sharing that info on here - and I, for one, would be very grateful to you for doing that, so thank you.
I assume you mean “most people who live on Thorpewood” and that there has been a door to door survey to support that? I can tell you that no such survey has been carried out on adjacent streets and I do not believe that most people support this divisive decision. Certainly the Conways worker who erected the huge sign at the bottom of my drive, preventing me from reversing onto it from now on, meaning I shall now have to reverse out on to what will become a very busy road, said he had received very negative comments from a steam of upset Thorpewood Avenue neighbours.
Thank you for your warm engagement with your local councillors.
Also, I wasn’t expected you to literally know the specific figures or estimates to answer that question. I was merely asking that question to trigger some thought about what the ULEZ expansion might offer the millions living within the North & South Circular, as well as impact it might have on those living with 0.5 mile of the South Circular.
A bit smug or what!
I didn’t ask for your sarcastic reply to my post but once you’d slung your handbag at me I couldn’t resist the Hermes uppercut.
Anyway, handbags at dawn done-&-dusted, I ended up by genuinely thanking you for taking our question on board.
I hope you’re okay with it now because we will no doubt meet sooner or later and you will then realise that I’m not the horror that I may appear to be on here.
I too am concerned about the impact the ULEZ extension will have on the South Circular and main roads just outside the extension.
I think it is a genuine and understandable concern and I don’t understand why this question was responded to as it was by the councillor on the thread, and echo the other poster on this, of course the south circular and the road just outside it will be a concern to people in this area as we are talking about concentrating all the most polluting vehicles here potentially?
Who should I contact to find out about the mitigation measures and raise a concern? Is it better to contact local representatives directly rather than raise on this forum? We are talking about a road with illegal pollution levels getting potentially higher illegal levels here I think, but maybe there is some analysis which suggests this will not be the case? Genuine question, I really don’t know and would like to know!
An extension of the ULEZ is a huge step forward to ensure what within a huge slice of London, the tragedies like that of Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death will become far rarer.
Therefore, I was angered by the tone of messages on here dismissing the ULEZ extension such as those saying it a tragic irony that this policy will lead to more untimely deaths - when in fact the evidence shows this policy is likely to save lives.
Now I understand if you have concerns about how the ULEZ extension will personally affect you if you live near or on the South Circular. But I get cross at people who reject policies that on the whole will likely do a great deal of collective good, because they might personally be badly affected by it.
As I often say, it is best to contact myself, Sophie and Peter (if you live Forest Hill Ward) directly by email, particularly if you have a specific concern about an issue in the ward. Me and Sophie do scan this forum for casework and occasionally post updates on matters.
While I agree that this is a good thing, and getting from where we are today to where we want to be is a difficult path to plot, the ULEZ is definitely going to increase traffic on and outside it’s border, at least in the short term. Rightly people that will be affected by this have concerns for decreased air quality and health, Ella Kissi-Debrah’s case tragically highlighting this exact link.
As a Forest Hill Councillor, and as others have asked before in this thread, are you able to address these concerns?
Is it certain the ulez will increase traffic on the border? I accept it could, and can see the logic, but equally I expect the ulez will mean some journeys that previously used the south circular as a means to get to a road moving northwards now wont happen, or will use public transport / bicycle, so not only will those vehicles be off the roads in the ulez, they also won’t be using the south circular now.
Really what we’re concerned about is a subset of vehicles: those that are making a journey only from outside the ulez to outside the Ulez + those that would benefit from cutting through the ulez (as an aside, how many is this? My east-west drives always seem to put me on the south circular anyway…) + those that aren’t exempt from the ulez (4 out of 5 cars already are) + those that don’t change vehicle as a result of the ulez + those that choose not to pay and use a longer route instead. All those factors must simultaneously apply before a vehicle might be decamped on the south circular as a result.
On the flip side, south circular traffic could be reduced for every journey where: part of the journey normally uses the south circular + the start or end or stop off is in the ulez + the vehicle is older/more polluting and attracts a ulez charge + the driver chooses not to make the journey or not use a private vehicle. Or that person might switch to a less polluting car so they can continue as before in a less damaging way.
If the volume of vehicles in set A is greater than B then yes, there’ll be an increase in traffic on the south circular at least at first, but if more journeys are replace with alternative means then there could be a reduction. I have no idea what the outcome will be and would also be interested in projections, but I’m not sure we should be certain that the net change will be one way or the other at this point.
As a slight aside, I’m struck by the fact that an article about the tragic death of a girl due to pollution has elicited such a reaction against measures to cut pollution. I totally understand the concern that this could move the problem elsewhere, and I hope more data will be available, but I don’t see how that merits such a negative reaction to this scheme.
I also think, rereading the above, comments like this are in poor taste and wrong:
Not only does that come across as hugely insensitive, for all we know many, many lives have been saved within the ULEZ as a result of the cut in pollution. For those looking for stats the below refers to the realised benefits, and I think it is safe to assume that the area within the ULEZ is larger than the line around the periphery.
Traffic emissions are the biggest source of poor air quality. The world’s first 24 hour Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was implemented in central London in April 2019, and has seen the number of vehicles meeting the tough emission standards rise from 39% in February 2017* to more than 80%. It has also had a transformational impact on air pollution, contributing to a 44% reduction in roadside nitrogen dioxide within its boundaries. That’s why The Mayor of London and TfL are helping to improve air quality across the Capital, by making our transport greener and expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
And for those that would like to see alternative means of of pollution reduction (but also despise anyone but the direct beneficiaries funding projects, and realise we live in a real world with no magic money trees) then good news, because the ULEZ will make this possible:
Where the money goes
Any money received from the ULEZ will be reinvested into improving the transport network - including its cycleways, buses and Tube - and helping to improve London’s air quality. We don’t make a profit and are committed to reducing our costs.
I hope our @Lewisham_Councillors can help us to ensure that SE23 gets a fair share of this money to offset any disproportionate downsides coming our way, but aside from that a lot of the views in this thread are pure NIMBYism, and at times totally contradictory. We can’t have it both ways, we either have to cut pollution or accept the consequences, but neither option is free.
I really appreciate this comprehensive comment PV. As you’ve done before, you’ve articulated my views on this better than I could myself.
I’m all for the ideology of the ulez extension, and not querying the decision behind it’s extension.
It’s more the practicalities of its implementation and what practical measures are being taken to ensure SE23 is not negatively impacted. For example, if we know there is a risk that SE23 may become a giant free car park being just outside of the south circ, with people driving to SE23 and then catching the train to more central locations, then what is being done about that. More pay & displays? more double yellow lines?
I think part of the problem is that it is not clear if there are any risks to SE23 residents, and whether steps are being taken to mitigate said risks.
I agree with all that, would love to see the income from ulez distributed with these things in mind, maybe it could fund the SE23 south circular foest hill bypass tunnel! One can dream.
It may interest others, I’ve been digging around to see if the congestion charge had a measurable negative impact on roads at its circumference. There isn’t much data readily available, but I found one study suggesting a 10% increase in volume on neighboring roads that was then offset by adjustments to signalling (presumably the traffic could flow around the CC zone more efficiently as lights didn’t need to allow as much time for turns in to the CC zone), and the result was no measurable change on journey times on those roads. That doesn’t tell us much re pollution (10% more cars not good for pollution, but seemingly no extra idling at lights/stop start in traffic, and how many cars passing on those roads are more environmentally friendly so that they can enter the zone?), and doubt we can read too much directly in to se23’s circumstances, but may be of general interest.
This question has been around for 2 years and there has been a lot of ideology in answers but little detail as how it could be mitigated. Most official replies always concentrate on the obvious benefits to those in the ULEZ.
The figures given are that the ULEZ expansion will reduce pollution by 30% inside the boundary and 26% outside. I don’t disagree with the 30% as charging £12.50 admission cuts down on the numbers who want to enter and it will probably be a bigger reduction but I queried the 26% and never got a particularly satisfying answer.
There were was one thing pointed out that will reduce pollution in those areas like us that are part of Greater London but outside the ULEZ expansion and that was the LEZ. The Low Emission Zone covers greater London and is getting tighter in March (postponed from October this year). This covers the most polluting vehicles from vans and lorries to coaches. The new standard for HGVs, heavy vans, buses/minibuses and coaches is EURO VI which is the same as the ULEZ. If vehicles don’t meet it they will have to pay a charge of £100 to £300 which is a very good incentive to replace your vehicle. Good news if you are a cyclist and often get stuck behind a van belching out diesel fumes.
This measure won’t significantly affect the volume of traffic but will curtail the heavy polluters.
The volume question for SE23 has always been about the free car park status for residential streets. The obvious answer is to make the whole of Lewisham controlled parking on residential streets included in residents’ council tax or at a small annual charge which politicians have suggested in the past. The existing parking permit charges are prohibitively expensive leading to little appetite to expand the current schemes.
I really appreciate your time for putting this together @PV because you and some of the other posters really have made this a great conversation - so thank you.
I’m not so clever, so I just have to try to make my point in as short a way as possible.
Your in-a-nutshell quote above, has made it quite it quite easy for me because that’s exactly where it goes wrong.
Agreed, we need to cut pollution and there will inevitably be a consequence [of higher levels of air pollution along the Sth/Nth Circ], but we DO NOT have to accept it. The danger this poses to health, simply must be mitigated against very robustly; and this has been the crux of what I’ve been trying to get across.
Thankfully, @LeoGibbons has kindly ensured us that he is taking this up with the relevant departments and I hope he and others will then continue to put pressure wherever it’s needed to ensure that nobody in SE23 or elsewhere along the route is disproportionately affected by what is designed to be a benefit to ALL Londoners (and the planet).
Thanks for the reply John, and think we agree there. Hope you have a good Christmas!
@marymck I mean most people in the sense of supporting a school street is like supporting education, it is one of those universal things most people would agree is a good idea. Like every good idea, it is the implementation that counts and I think most people agree that something which should impact us 10 hours a week is now going to be all the time.
There has been a lot of talk from the council but nobody has listened to residents. No surveys of residents, no impact studies, no evidence and a lack of clear communication, most people now know Thorpewood Avenue is going to be one way at the top because the barriers have gone up not because the council have told them. This is going to cost many local residents an extra £100 a year by causing them to have to drive an extra 1km every day and add millons of extra CO2 emissions to local residents. Yes, 50 households will be a lot better off but hundreds will be worse off.
Worst of all though the school street is divisive on a school level excluding Holy Trinity while doubling the pollution going past it and not just during the school street hours but during the whole school day.
I would agree that most people do not support this divisive implementation of a school street.
Nothing is certain, but it seems highly likely that traffic will be displaced in at least the short term.
I guess the problem I see with this is that there seems to be no detailed forward plan for what to do about improving pollution around the boundary and beyond. There will obviously be a gradual positive effect as vehicles that need access to the ULEZ are incentivised to be replaced with cleaner alternatives sooner (e.g. Openreach announced their entire fleet is to be converted to EV’s by 2030), but beyond the government target of 2030 for banning sale of new diesel and petrol cars there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot else.
What I would like to see is a phased plan to continue the expansion of the ULEZ out through all of Greater London. At the same time the most central or polluted areas may phase in Ultra-ultra Emission Zones or even Zero Emission Zones which can gradually be expanded to help push all electric vehicles.
Note the ULEZ requirement isn’t currently that high for cars and motorcycles (source):
- Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
- Euro 3 became mandatory for all new motorcycles in 2007
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
- Euro 4 became mandatory for all new cars in 2005 and light vans in 2006
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles
- Euro VI (NOx and PM) for lorries, buses and coaches and other specialist heavy vehicles (NOx and PM)
- Euro 6 became mandatory for all new heavy duty engines for goods vehicles and buses from January 2014, September 2015 for cars and light vans, and September 2016 for larger vans up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.
The county’s 2030 target gives a broad timeframe against which a wider plan could be made for more measures, though London could lead the way ahead.
TfL are facing a huge funding gap. Unless ULEZ income is ringfenced for re-investment, I’d be surprised if much comes back out of TfL for a while. Also by definition, if the ULEZ is successful, it will bring in less money.
I think there’s quite a lot of wider work that will improve air quality aside from the ulez, and therefore help mitigate any negative impacts on the border. Another poster has already mentioned the london-wide low emissions zone, MOT requirements for pollution are being increased, low emission busses are being funded, the ban on new petrol cars has been loved forward. There’s likely lots more across several different government docs (Clean Air Strategy 2019, Road to Zero 2018, The UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations 2018). I don’t think ULEZ expansion is taking place in isolation, and it follows the original ULEZ and congestion charge in a logical fashion, expanding from the centre of London outwards. At this moment it’s out time to be on the edge of the expansion, just as others were when the congestion charge and original ULEZ came in, and just as those south of the M25 are for the London wide low emissions zone.
I do think more could be done to publicise the wider strategy and give this a sense of cohesion for constiutents, but I think this is far from an isolated idea with some winners and some losers left with the downsides indefinitely.
These policies are the answer (and I’d go further - putting heavier sales taxes on new petrol and diesel cars)
Not a crude shuffling around of polluting vehicles from a lucky area to an unlucky area.
I didn’t read anyone dismissing the ULEZ but rather they are saying this isn’t going far enough? However I agree that there were a few strange comments and that I couldn’t follow this thread very easily (I also did not understand how it all became hostile quite quite suddenly).
Also, I think the NIMBY claim is very unfair. We aren’t saying it’s OK for East Dulwich to have pollution because we don’t want it in Forest Hill, we are saying that one area should not experience an increase in pollution as a result of a policy to reduce pollution in other areas. Maybe this concern is wrong and there is some analysis that shows this to be the case, but surely this concern is valid and it’s not NIMBYist?
Absolutely agree. I live outside what will be the zone and confidently expect pollution and congestion on my side of the tracks to go up considerably when this happens. I mean, great for those inside the zone, but for those of us on the border this could be a bit of a nightmare so I agree it would be good to know what plans are in place to make sure pollution isn’t just displaced.
The ULEZ in its current scope has already contributed to a significant reduction of air pollution in Lewisham. Once extended, it is likely to continue improving air quality outside the zone, as @PV notes, drivers of high polluting vehicles will likely make fewer journeys altogether.
ULEZ expansion is predicted to lead to a significant reduction in air pollution by up to 26 per cent even outside of the zone.
I think on PV’s NIMBYism comment, I think it relates to rejecting a policy that will bring a huge benefit to millions living in inner London because of the impact it’ll have in your ‘back yard’ and that, it can be argued, is quite ‘NIMBY’. Like, everyone wants new housing, just not if they think it will negatively affect them etc.
Our Cabinet Member for Environment is having a briefing with TFL on the ULEZ extension in mid-January and I’ll be speaking to Cllr McGeevor after that about potential pollution-mitigation measures along the SC corridor. I shall report back.
I’m broadly in favour of the ULEZ. I live just inside (so perhaps biased) not too far from the South Circular on Brockley Rise, and my children go to Dalmain which is also on Brockley Rise. I’m hopeful it’s introduction will reduce pollution at the school and on this busy road in general.
I can understand the concerns of those on the border of the South Circular. My completely non-scientific gut feeling is pollution won’t get worse. I know people who have either changed their cars to get more efficient less polluting ones, have given up cars completely etc and suspect many people across the inner zone have done this, so would hope this would provide a not insignificant reduction in the more polluting cars travelling through both areas. If you live in the proposed ULEZ, you would think an increasing percentage of people looking for a new car will look for more efficient cars or consider not getting one, which again should help longterm pollution wise.
So will cars who would ‘cut through’ the ULEZ now stay outside and go around the South Circular to get to their destinations. Some will, but you’d think some journeys will not be viable on that basis, so people will either go through the ULEZ and pay the charge, or use a different form of transport. So I’d think there might be less journeys to counter more journeys made on the South Circular.
Additionally all these schemes make people think more about their car use and how much they need to actually use their cars - I’d expect a general reduction also on this basis.
I’d be concerned about parking just outside the ULEZ on residential streets, as I suspect if your car is not compliant you might consider parking your car outside the zone if your normal commute is outside of the ULEZ.
My ultimate hope is this is shown to reduce reduction in the zone is that it is then expanded again further out so all can fully benefit.
There are not doubt many negatives, especially for people in the current climate who will incur extra costs either as individuals or traders who need to use their cars \ transport regularly and that is an uncomfortable aspect for me.
From the pollution reduction point however, I hope in a due course we see a reduction both in and around the ULEZ.
Good post, and I’d wondered about this myself:
But then I think, it’s only a small subset of vehicles this applies to (4 in 5 cars already free to drive in ulez) and would insurance cover your car being parked streets away every night? Possibly not, or possibly with a higher premium for the privilege. I suspect the total impact of this will be low but I wonder if there was anything measured around the borders of the original ULEZ or CC zone…
This is a disappointing response from Lewisham Council. It is a shame to feel that a local government representative is dismissing a resident’s legitimate query about policy making as mere nimbyism.
I never said I disagreed with the ULEZ. I simply wanted to know what consideration had been given to ensuring that the problem wasn’t just getting pushed onto a different group of people. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. In fact I think it should have been part of the policy consideration for the decision and therefore there should be no difficulty in answering the question.
Perhaps you are able to provide us with the assessments that were done. That way it may be easier for those of us who have raised concerns about the impact on the areas immediately outside the zone to understand how the impact on us has been reflected in the decision.
Councillors are laypeople and broad generalists, mostly juggling a full-time job with council duties. There seem to be expectations on here that we should have at hand a grasp of granular detail on a huge variety of subjects, usually on the data/assessments behind X, Y, Z officer-led decisions as varied as scheduled pavement works, resurfacing works, school street prioritisation, CPZ consultation prioritisation, yellow line placement, healthy neighbourhood prioritisation. Currently, it’s for full-grasp of TFL’s impact assessments on the ULEZ and its possible expansion models.
Sorry to disappoint but as I’m not an expert - I just knew the ULEZ had already contributed to a significant reduction of air pollution in Lewisham and that the ULEZ extension was likely to improve air quality inside the zone and outside the zone. While I did not know its anticipated impact specifically on the SC/NC corridor, I felt based on my prior knowledge and accepting that while it may, or may not, have a negative impact on air quality along the south circular, it was likely to bring a large net-benefit for Londoners and therefore I supported it. I dd not think that would be so controversial.
Finally, my NIMBYism comment wasn’t directed at you but rather it was attempting to clarify @PV’s comments for @CC who asked about it.
I see that her mother’s “It’s environmental racism” comment was one of the Quotes of the Year in Private Eye’s Rotten Borough Awards.
So it does. Well spotted John.
All I want is reassurance that the impact assessment for this policy took account of the impact on those of us immediately adjacent to the zone, even if the outcome of the policy decision was still the same. You maintain that you can not be expected to know. That is fair enough, as you point out you are not an expert.
Nonetheless you have criticised those of us who have concerns and said that we are showing nimbyism. Whether you think you meant me or not, you did say these comments in a reply to me, and your post suggests that anyone who has any kind of concern is a nimby and I have concerns about being on the immediate outside of the zone so by your reckoning it would appear that this makes me a nimby.
In fact I have no objections to the zone itself. Far from not wanting it in my backyard, I would really rather my backyard were actually in it. As it is, I shall get limited benefit from it and may suffer a negative impact. I just wish I felt that there had been any consideration given to that or recognition that it may cause a problem for some, even if the overall benefit outweighed that.
I assume ‘her mother’ is Rosamund Kissi-Debrah .
I’m afraid I haven’t regularly read ‘Private Eye’ since 1965. What message is it trying to give us when it includes what she said (and she did, I’ve checked) in the Rotten Borough Awards ‘quotes of the year’? Is it intended satirically? If so, what is being satirised?
Here is the impact assessment that was carried out and if it found a clear likely negative impact on the areas outside the zone, I think it would have noted it. I doubt the ULEZ extension will have a negative impact on Forest Hill and the area is likely to see benefit from it and a substantial benefit from the toughening of the Greater London LEZ.
Nobody is a NIMBY here if they want the ULEZ extension, but a NIMBY might oppose the ULEZ extension because (they think) it might negatively affect them (even if they accept the wider benefit). I hope you catch my drift.
Robin, the full text in PE is " “It’s environmental racism” - Clean air campaigner Rosamund Kissi-Debrah whose asthmatic daughter Ella’s death in 2013 was caused in part by air pollution, attacks a Lewisham council “low traffic neighbourhood” because she believes it diverts traffic away from wealthier, whiter neighbourhoods into poorer, blacker ones."
So, no satire that I can see, unless you are satirically criticising a satirical magazine for their lack of satire!
So Private Eye now aspires to be a journal of record rather than a ‘fortnightly lampoon’ , and published the story just to make sure that we were all fully informed about what an important public figure had said on a topic of wide national interest? Pull the other one.
Well, that’s the full published text accompanying the award so I guess we must all make up our own minds as to what their aspirations might be.
I think this is why local governance - especially in a huge complex city-state like London - isn’t working. Things did work better in London before Thatcher’s dismantling of the GLC, and all the defunding of services since then. But it is remarkable that neither of the big parties is offering any major reform or reorganisation proposals. Dysfunctional and unresponsive business as usual seems to be the only offer: it’s as though the problems have become too big to deal with, so we’re left solely with reactive firefighting.
You should buy a copy one day Robin. It’s only 2 quid. You will find that it carries a lot of serious investigative journalism of a far higher standard than one finds in what passes for broadsheet journalism these days. You might be pleasantly surprised. When placed in their context it is possible that you may find yourself better able to judge for yourself the snippets you may pick up here and there.
Thank you Leo.
I could only find refence to the Economic and Business Impact Assessment; and nothing to do with any projections or modelling to give any indication of what the pollution levels might be through the South Circular Road corridor and adjacent roads when the ULEZ gets into full swing.
That’s a fair assumption, however, in its absence, I’m happy to wait until confirmation of that comes through from your colleague in the council.
Oh, it’s me who’s avoiding putting ‘snippets’ into context, is it? And is transcribing a paragraph about Mrs Kissi–Debrah from the NewsShopper an example of ‘serious investigative journalism’?
However. I’m not going to get very far with all this, am I? I give up.
I saw No assessment of the impact on the boundary areas either. But it’s clear that whatever the impact, it’s considered justifiable in the interests of the benefit to the people in the zone.
Ironically I see one of the original proposals would have taken the zone out to croydon which would have solved the problem for those of us south of the A205 but would, I imagine have caused greater economic impact.
Going back to the message rather than the messenger. Mrs Kissi-Debrah made some insightful statements whether carried in the NewShopper/Private Eye or my favourite londonnewsonline.co.uk in addition to “It’s Environmental Racism” about the LTN pushing pollution from the affluent to the less affluent including many Black and Minority Ethnic residents.
“What I’m most annoyed about is councillors’ patronising responses, as if people on this side are stupid. For example ‘you need to give it time’. I need to give it time?
“Not only did they not consult us when they closed off roads – where did they think the traffic was going to go?”
I am sure Lewisham would not repeat the same mistakes with its other schemes.
I am sure they wouldn’t come up with a school street that only includes the school with 10% on free school meals and excludes the school with 30% on free school meals that according to Ofsted has “The large majority of pupils are from minority ethnic groups, mostly Black British (Caribbean and African)”
No, they wouldn’t block the street so that now most traffic has to go past the excluded school not just before and after school but for the length of the school day.
I think we would all like to see the impact assessment for the Thorpewood Avenue school street on Holy Trinity if one was ever done.
@Rosered I had a look at the ULEZ report and I have corresponded with other Lewisham councillors about this, I think the fair conclusion is to say they don’t know or weren’t able to provide evidence to backup optimism that the boundary areas would also see a positive impact.
It seems to me that if a measure to improve air quality benefitted a largely white area at the expense of one with a substantial BAME population, it could reasonably be called structurally racist.
There is now another threat that, if passed, will increase pollution/congestion on the lower half of TA that I have posted to the TA School Street thread.
Mainstream newspapers have covered this. Take this Guardian article, for example:
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