Air Pollution in Islington, Finsbury Square Car Park, Rotherhithe Bridge and Hammersmith Bridge

This article contains a summary of some recent news on transport issues of interest to Londoners.

Islington Air Pollution

First London air quality is a hot topic of late and it’s interesting to look at an “Air Pollution Update” published by Islington Council (see https://tinyurl.com/qljusdl for the full report but a few key points follow).

On PM2.5 particulates it reports steady falls from 2010 to 2016 so that road transport now only supplies 28% of the total. Commercial cooking is a larger proportion and has not declined at all while there are lots of other contributors. As regards NO2 which is the other emission that people are concerned with even though the proof that it is dangerous is quite limited, this has been falling sharply since 2005-2007. It might now be half what it was on the latest figures – see chart below from the report.

Islington NO2 Emissions

These declines are probably similar in other London boroughs and air pollution will continue to decline from road transport including cars due to tougher vehicle standards. The Mayor of London’s imposition of a wider area ULEZ is simply not justified.

Finsbury Square Car Park

Those who have worked in the City might be aware that there is an underground car park operated by NCP under Finsbury Square. It has a bowling green and an area of grass on top which is used by City workers in the summer, but it is generally a bit run down with abandoned petrol stations still there. But now there are plans to redevelop it. What the redevelopment might contain is not clear as the plans have not been made public. It would certainly be a pity if one of the few car parks in the City is lost.

Rotherhithe Bridge or Ferry

We have previously covered the proposals for a bridge (cyclists/pedestrians only) across the Thames at Rotherhithe. This was an enormously expensive project for little benefit and received many local objections. TfL have now announced they are progressing the design of a ferry crossing instead. See https://tinyurl.com/tx5zutf for more information, but it’s still only for cyclists and pedestrians, and the economics are not yet disclosed.

Hammersmith Bridge

The closure of Hammersmith Bridge is creating lots of difficulties for residents of West London. It has been suggested that a temporary road bridge be put in place while the listed bridge is being repaired, at a possible cost of £5 million, but it seems there is little support for that idea. Instead TfL is proposing a temporary walking and cycling bridge. This would be a seven-metre wide, prefabricated steel structure. See https://tinyurl.com/st8s7m4 for more information and to give your views. But it will hardly solve the traffic congestion problems that are otherwise going to last for some years.

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