Well we knew that the pollution on Oxford Street was bad, but not this bad.
After a mere four days of 2015, the annual pollution limit has already been maxed out on Oxford Street. That’s right, the air on Oxford Street is so toxic and damaging that the EU’s 18-hour yearly limit for nitrogen dioxide levels to be above 200 micrograms per cubic metre has been exceeded in less than a week. The news came from academics at King’s College London and campaign group Clean Air in London, who said that the limit was exceeded on January 4.
Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock, considering that it breached the yearly limit just a day later (Jan 5) last year. In 2014 the average concentration of NO2 totalled 139 micrograms per cubic metre on Oxford Street, when the legal limit is 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Another street on the pollution blacklist is Putney High Street, which has also exceeded the EU limit and last year racked up an average concentration of 101 micrograms per cubic metre.
Director of Clean Air in London Simon Birkett reckons that in the next five years, London should ban diesel from the most polluted places. Boris Johnson does have plans to tackle the problem, but we can’t help but wish something would be done sooner.