London pollution: Should councils have more power to restrict traffic post-lockdown? Have your say...

Sophie Rainbow
·2-min read
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Figures show that

air pollution fell by 60 to 70% in 2020 as a result of the first lockdown

(PA Wire)" />

Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air in London (CAL), today suggested that a Clean Air Act should be passed to give local authorities more power to decarbonise areas and protect public health.

Speaking about the proposal, Mr Birkett cited figures which showed that air pollution fell by 60 to 70% in 2020 as a result of the first lockdown.

“What we saw last year was levels of nitrogen dioxide from road traffic fall very sharply. It was surprising how far it fell, at some point 60 to 70 per cent down on 2019, which shows how much diesel is contributing to air pollution.”

“People have suddenly experienced it is nicer to live in an area with less air pollution and we’ve seen people cycling and walking more, which can only be a good thing.

By contrast, London pollution analysts yesterday estimated that many areas had pollution levels between five and nine on the London Air Quality Network index- in the moderate to very high categories - as opposed to only one area reaching more than a three this time last year.

Would you support more power being given to local authorities to improve air pollution? Let us know in the comments below for your chance to be featured on the ES website tomorrow.

Yesterday’s Talking Point: Why is tea so important to the British?

Lots of you had suggestions about our love of tea. “Filenz13” pointed out that tea-drinking in Britain is often credited to Queen Catherine of Braganza, who brought the concept over from her native Portugal when she married King Charles II - “Thanks to the Queen Catarina de Bragança to make the tea time a tradicional British landmark.”

“Marsbaarr” thought that it might have been a way to avoid sickness by drinking boiled water, “zeeshanzafar04” thought it had more to do with warming us up in cold weather, and Lorna Palmer suggested the opposite - “because it cools you down wherever you are in the world.”

Lots of you also got in touch with your favourite teas - “kajlos” likes Darjeeling, “ifoodturisti” (who is Italian, but prefers tea to coffee), was a fan of Earl Grey, while “nat_cooray” commented that the “best tea comes from Sri Lanka,” adding: “Sri Lanka street vendors use condensed milk, try it out of this world.”

And some just wanted to comment on how much they love a good brew - Clare Preece said she “so misses tea” when she’s away from home, and Ruth Mellow Vickery simply stated: “I love tea.”

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