Ealing air pollution strategy

By Nic Ferriday

13th Feb 2023 | Local Features

Car exhaust
Car exhaust

No evidence that air pollution plan will save lives

Ealing Council has published a draft 'Air Quality Strategy' for consultation [note 1] and Ealing Friends of the Earth has made a robust response [note 2]

Air pollution is a major cause of ill health and death. Researchers at Imperial College say: "In 2019, in Greater London, the equivalent of between 3,600 to 4,100 deaths (61,800 to 70,200 life years lost) were estimated to be attributable to human-made PM2.5 and NO2" [note 3]. They estimated that between 147 and 165 people from the borough of Ealing died each year due to air pollution. 

Nic Ferriday, from Ealing Friends of the Earth said: "These are shocking figures. If deaths from road accidents or crime were anything near this level, they would be regarded as totally unacceptable.

It's good that Ealing council is producing an air pollution strategy. However, the draft strategy is very weak. While there is a list of proposed actions, there are no targets for reduction of pollution and no assessment of what the proposed actions would achieve. This makes it very difficult to assess how effective the strategy will be. There is certainly no evidence that it will have a significant effect.

The biggest source of air pollution is road traffic, but the strategy has no significant plan to tackle it. Following the debacle of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Ealing council seems frightened to take any radical action for fear it might upset the car lobby.

We recognise that Ealing council cannot solve the problem of air pollution by itself. But if the council believes it can achieve little itself, it should be honest enough to say so. And to say what needs to be done by others."

Contact: Nic Ferriday 07873 388453


1. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201042/current_consultations/3141/consultation_on_air_quality_strategy_and_air_quality_action_plan

2. https://ealingfoe.org.uk/air-quality-plan-will-fail-to-save-lives/

3. PM2.5 are tiny particles less than 2.5 of a thousandth of millimetre across of any substance. NO2 is chemical combination of oxygen and nitrogen. While there are other dangerous substances in our air, PM2.5 and NO2 are by far the most important.


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