City Hall dismisses idea to remove speed bumps as 'tinkering' that would not work in London

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City Hall has rubbished proposals to destroy speed bumps as “tinkering around the edges” that would not work as a measure to tackle London’s toxic air crisis.

It emerged on Thursday that the Government is asking councils across the country to consider scrapping road humps in a bid to “optimise traffic flow”.

Environment secretary Michael Gove believes introducing the measure would bring down dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide on residential roads.

It comes after the Government proposals emerged to ban all new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 in an effort to tackle rising air pollution levels.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has criticised the Government’s action plan as “not good enough” (Getty Images)

A £255 million fund will be set up to help speed up local measures in dealing with pollution from diesel vehicles, as part of £3 billion spending on air quality. 

But City Hall dismissed the Government’s idea of removing speed bumps, saying that they play an “important role” in road safety.

Val Shawcross, the deputy mayor for transport, said: “This is mainly a decision for the boroughs to take, but speed bumps play an important role in improving road safety, by preventing speeding in busy residential areas across different parts of London.

“Rather than tinkering around the edges trying to tackle air pollution, the Government needs to commit to a fully-funded diesel scrappage fund now to get polluting vehicles off our streets immediately.”

The proposals were included in the Government’s long-awaited air quality plan, which focused on targeted action for just over 80 specific pollution blackspots – around half of which are in London. 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has joined environmentalists and some motoring experts in accusing the Government of falling short of what is needed to deal swiftly with toxic air. 

He said: “A half-hearted commitment from Government simply isn’t good enough. 

Environment secretary Michael Gove is asking councils to consider destroying speed bumps  (Reuters)

“We need a fully funded diesel scrappage fund now to get polluting vehicles off our streets immediately, as well as new powers so that cities across the UK can take the action needed to clean up our air.”

The Labour politician has committed to building the “toughest emission standard of any world city” in a bid to tackle London’s “health crisis”.

In 2017, City Hall was forced to issue its first ever “very high” toxic air alert telling millions of Londoners, including the fit and healthy, they may need to act to protect their health as pollution levels soared.

Speed bumps cause pollution through drivers constantly slowing down and accelerating between humps, releasing dangerous pollutants into the air.

When discussing the air quality plan, Mr Gove told BBC radio: “As Mrs Thatcher once said, ‘there is no alternative’.

“We can’t carry on with diesel and petrol cars, not just because of the health problems that they cause but also because the emissions that they cause would mean that we would accelerate climate change.”


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