Cleaning London's air
Every Londoner deserves to breathe clean air. Together with the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, we are committed to reducing the impact of polluting road vehicles.
Air quality adviceWe have air quality advice for each level of daily air pollution.
London's air quality - how bad is it?
We've already made a lot of progress on London's air quality problem, but there's still more work to do. The volume of road traffic in London makes it one of the most polluted places in the UK.
And air pollution is not just a central London problem - 99% of Londoners live in an area where pollution exceeds guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.
How road transport harms our health
Road vehicles are the single biggest cause of London's air pollution. They produce around half of all nitrogen oxides and emit tiny particles of rubber and metal - too small to see with the naked eye - into the air we breathe.
Despite recent improvements in air quality, toxic air pollution in the Capital is still the biggest environmental risk to the health of all Londoners, harming our lungs, worsening chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung and heart disease and putting the health of our children at risk. A study from Imperial College London says that in 2019 over 4,000 Londoners died because of the impact of toxic air.
Myth: Only central London is affected by air pollution
FACT: Pollution affects every borough in the city, not just central London
Myth: Road vehicles aren't the main cause of London's air pollution
FACT: Driving polluting vehicles is the single biggest cause, contributing to around half of the air pollution in London
Young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution because it can stunt their lung growth. Research shows that children growing up in heavily polluted streets have a smaller lung capacity than those in cleaner areas - 5% smaller on average.
Myth: You don't need to switch off a car engine when stationary
FACT: Research shows that turning off the engine significantly reduces pollution levels in the surrounding area
Myth: You can always see when air pollution is bad in London
FACT: Most airborne toxins are too small to see with the naked eye
What we're doing for air quality
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has helped reduce some harmful pollutants in central London by almost half. We're also cleaning up our bus fleet and taxis, and supporting Londoners to switch to cleaner vehicles.
The ULEZ is expanding
Since its launch in 2019, the ULEZ has cut the number of older, polluting vehicles on our roads and contributed to a 44% reduction in roadside nitrogen dioxide within its boundaries.
However, many areas of the city outside of central London are going over the legal limits for pollution.
That's why, from 25 October 2021, the ULEZ is expanding to create a single, larger zone up to the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205) to help improve air quality for millions more Londoners. (The North and South Circular Roads themselves are not in the zone.)
A new generation of greener transport
- From 1 March 2021 we're introducing tougher Low Emission Zone standards for heavy goods vehicles, vans and specialist vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) and buses, minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes GVW operating across most of Greater London
- Our fleet of around 9,000 TfL buses, excluding additional School Service buses provided to help with social distancing on regular services, now meet the highest Euro VI emissions standards
- Already more than 380 buses are zero emission at the tailpipe - a mix of electric and hydrogen vehicles. We aim to have a zero emissions bus fleet no later than 2037
- All new licensed taxis in London must be zero-emission capable - more than 3,900 already operate in the Capital
- More than 5,000 electric vehicle charge points have been installed across London - we have funded about half of them. We've also installed over 300 rapid charge points for electric vehicles across London
- We're helping some London boroughs improve air quality by supporting their Low Emission Neighbourhoods - and a city-wide anti-idling campaign - funded by the Mayor's Air Quality Fund
- We're working on initiatives to encourage and enable cycling in London, including new cycle routes and free cycle skills training
- We've funded 430 new School Streets across 23 London Boroughs. School Streets are roads around schools that are closed to motor traffic during drop off and pick up times
- We're helping to clean London's air - and encourage biodiversity - by managing our green infrastructure