Brixton Road ‘most polluted in London’

Bus in BrixtonBrixton Road was officially the most polluted road in London tonight as it reached the legal pollution level for a whole year just five days into 2017.

ClientEarth – a group of activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet – said that, according to the legal limit, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) should not be more than 200 micrograms per cubic meter for more than 18 hours over an entire year. But NO2 levels on Brixton Road have so far been above this level for 17 consecutive hours today (Thursday 5 January).

London mayor Sadiq Khan is planning to introduce no/low emission buses on routes between Streatham and Brixton in October this year.

NO2 in towns and cities comes mostly from road traffic.

ClientEarth lawyer and Brixton resident Alan Andrews said: “This is another shameful reminder of the severity of London’s air pollution and shows why the mayor has rightly made tackling it a top priority.

“It is absolutely essential that he now delivers on his promises and that the national government back him to the hilt.

“He has promised to introduce a bigger ultra-low emission zone in 2019 and to deploy the cleanest buses on the most polluted roads.

“While these are vital steps in the right direction, we can’t wait another three years for action. We need immediate action to cut pollution in the short-term and protect Londoners’ health during these pollution spikes.

“While London has the worst air pollution, this is a national problem which requires a national solution.

“The government’s draft plans to tackle air pollution, as ordered by the High Court, are due in April.

“They must include a national network of clean air zones, which stop the dirtiest diesel vehicles entering pollution hotspots.

“They also have to stop the perverse fiscal incentives which encourage people to use diesel vehicles and instead help them to buy cleaner ones.”

Data for Brixton Road pollution


  1. “London mayor Sadiq Khan is planning to introduce no/low emission buses on routes between Streatham and Brixton in October this year”. I hope this is just a typo when only Streatham is named? What about the buses that go towards Norwood and Anerley via Tulse Hill? Streatham already get some of the new hybrid buses on their routes, as does Herne Hill. We in Tulse Hill still get the fume spewing old vehicles, some of them over 10 years old, on all our routes. We have none of the new buses go through here. What is needed Mr Mayor are new no/low emission routes on ALL routes into and out of Brixton Road not just limited to one area. The MP for Streatham also represents Tulse Hill, he should inform the Labour Mayor not just to favour one area over another. New buses for Tulse Hill as well as Streatham or at least some for both areas as a start.

  2. Lambeth has devised something called the “Air Quality Action Plan” and I am going to attend the first “Steering Group” meeting on 11 Jan. Let me know if you have any suggestions and I will pass them on. Or email:

    Here is the email communication with Lambeth so far:

    Lambeth: Thank you for your feedback in the recent Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) public consultation. You expressed an interest in being part of the AQAP Steering Group. We would like to arrange an initial meeting to outline what would be involved if you join the group and the next steps moving forward for the Plan. We would like to have a meeting starting at 6pm on 11 January in Vauxhall.

    Me: I’m just a member of the public, so I don’t really understand what role I have to play. Surely this sort of policy work is for our elected Councillors ?

    Lambeth: The steering group will provide a chance for us to discuss the actions we are taking and the projects we are doing to help us achieve the targets set out in our Air Quality Action Plan. As with the Air Quality Action Plan consultation, we want to include our residence in this process. You may have ideas of additional projects in your area which would help us achieve our targets which could be included in the Air Quality Action Plan.

    Please confirm whether you are able to attend this meeting by emailing If you are unable to attend, but would still like to be considered to be part of the group please let us know.

  3. Thanks for reporting this horrific statistic on toxic air pollution in Brixton.
    I have 3 children between 5 and 10 years of age who go to school just off Brixton road.
    I agree that 3 years is too long to wait to improve this situation.
    I am keen to be involved in any local campaign to extend the Victoria line or introduce more low pollution buses more quickly. Install pollution monitoring stations in school playgrounds to alert children to stay inside.
    Lobby for ALL taxis to be low emission status, penalise high emissions vehicles.
    Lobby parliament to do more to support low emissions, providing tax breaks for low emission vehicles.

    I will be writing to the mayor and our labour MP to raise my concerns and would appreciate details of any local campaign activity taking place which I can support. Thanks Ann

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