By Marcus Leach

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson must aim even higher in his efforts to improve air quality in London if he is to help reduce the thousands of deaths linked to pollution in the capital each year, the London Assembly said on Monday.

Responding to the Mayor’s final Air Quality Strategy, the Assembly’s Environment Committee welcomes the focus on public health and the fact the Mayor has taken up several of its suggestions, in areas such as reducing transport emissions and improving health information.

However, the Committee suggests the Mayor should continue to improve air quality beyond European standards for the benefit of Londoners’ health, given the estimated 4,300 extra premature deaths in the capital annually linked to harmful airborne particles.

The Committee also joins the Mayor in urging the Government to devise an effective national plan to deal with nitrogen dioxide. It suggests the Mayor should then review his Air Quality Strategy and build upon London-specific measures where necessary.

“London’s poor air quality has a serious impact on the health of Londoners and contributes to thousands of people dying prematurely each year," Murad Qureshi, Chair of the Environment Committee said.

“We welcome the Mayor’s commitment to reducing pollution in the capital and are pleased he has taken on board some of our recommendations. However, he needs to aim even higher if he really wants to clean up London’s air.”

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