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Lung & asthma campaigners back cycling

We review the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation's work on air pollution

The Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation ‘Invisible Threat’ report, published yesterday, set out the scale at which air pollution is devastating people’s health across the UK, with Londoners and visitors to London enduring the most toxic air in the country. A joint report by the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK stressed five important priorities to end the crisis, specifying “fund inclusive walking and cycling policies that enable everyone to be part of the solution to toxic air, such as e-bikes and segregated cycle lanes.”

London: The UK’s most dangerous air zone

The British Lung Foundation’s ‘Clean Air Map,’ which sets out which parts of the country have the most schools, GPs and hospitals, and residential care homes inside are in areas with dangerously toxic air, displays London as a dark red stain on the country. This is a shameful indictment of the systemic failure to protect Londoners,’ and London’s visitors,’ safety.


LCC’s take on what to do next

This finding, though unsurprising, is no less disgaceful. It is heartening to see that the importance of enabling safe, enjoyable, and accessible cycling, is increasingly recognised as vital for public health. Our #ClimateSafeStreets campaign, targetting the London Elections this year, is focused on convincing candidates to commit to our timetabled programme, to de-carbonise the London road network by 2030, which will dramatically cut both air pollution and carbon emissions.

The report sets out how cycling can be enabled as mass transit across London, as well as how policymakers can support a transition from mass motoring to the use of sustainable and non-polluting mobility modes. You can read the report in full here, and we’ll be publishing an updated second edition shortly this year. Our plan combines low-traffic neighbourhoods, protected cycleways, new restrictions on highly polluting vehicles, and critical ‘smart road user charging’ among many other measures, to suppress the most dangerous air pollution sources across our city.


How you can help support LCC’s plan to enable cycling and walking to stop the London air pollution crisis

Firstly, joining LCC is what supports our campaigning. And your local borough group are your support network in campaigning to enable cycling in your community – if would be great to have you on board, bringing your ideas and perspectives to how to campaign where you live.

And we’re planning a hard-hitting campaign for the London Elections this year, to convince all candidates to implement our #ClimateSafeStreets plan, which focuses on three aims:

Rapidly delivering a high-quality cycling network: to enable people to choose to cycle their everyday journeys, and reduce the usage of the most polluting vehicles in London

Introducing Smart Road User Charging: to discourage London’s most damaging and polluting motor vehicle trips

Supporting the growth of zero-carbon shared mobility options: such as dockless e-scooters (if made legal), cycles, e-bikes and electric car clubs, so that all Londoners have suitable, sustainable transport choices on their doorstep.

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