Nitrogen dioxide levels in Brixton Road have breached acceptable limits 83 times this year, with toxic air levels in Lambeth an “urgent public health and environmental issue.”

This comes after Brixton Road was named as the most toxic air blackspot in London earlier this year, after an average annual reading of 94 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air was recorded.

This is more than double the 40ug/m3 legal maximum.

According to Kings College London annual air quality report for Lambeth, nitrogen dioxide levels have exceeded legal hourly limits of 200ug/m3 83 times since January – a limit which is not meant to be exceeded more than 18 times a year.

Lambeth Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley said despite the introduction of a clean air bus corridor between Brixton and Streatham, not enough had been done in the borough to tackle toxic air issues.

“Over the last year, the much-vaunted clean air bus corridor has often been presented as the solution to most of our complaints. It is now very clear that while the introduction of the new bus fleet was welcome, it was a gross over-simplification to suggest it was any kind of magic bullet,” he explained.

He said there were a number of ways to impact toxic air levels in the borough.

“Pollution is caused by a wide variety of different problems, all of which require attention – councils can choose to get tougher on vehicle engine idling, or offer incentives to local businesses to use environmentally friendlier methods, or reduce the amount of waste they incinerate, and those are just three basic options.  

“We urgently need more imagination, investment and action. The UK has one of the worst records of pollution death of any country in Europe, and Lambeth was the second most polluting London borough in 2017,” he continued.

“This is an urgent public health and environmental issue, and it needs to be treated as more than a marginal political consideration.”