Air pollution problems could mean more car-free days for capital

photo London is the dirtiest city in Europe where vehicle emissions are concerned

Mayor Boris Johnson has said he's considering temporary bans on cars and trucks on the busiest roads in the capital to combat air pollution, which is breaching safety levels.

The European Commission recently turned down a request for additional time to comply with EU legislation on air quality, and will now decide whether to fine Britain for failing to meet anti-pollution targets.

The decision relates to requests for temporary exemptions from the EU's air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10, which environmental campaigners claim have caused thousands of deaths in the capital.

London has the worst record for nitrogen oxide pollutants among European capitals and one of the worst for airborne particles.

Communications officer Mike Cavenett said, "The mayor could turn his problem into an opportunity to promote active, pollution-free travel such as walking and cycling.

"We close city centre streets successfully for mass cycling and running events like Skyride and the marathon, so why not do it more often and across a wider area?"