On 15th October 2015 Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they have any proposals to improve air quality in Britain, especially in London.” The Bishop of London, Rt Revd Richard Chartres asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, in the Minister’s reply, mention was made of the Mayor of London. Is the Minister absolutely convinced that the mayor, together with the boroughs and the City of London, has the necessary powers to effect a pan-London improvement of the situation? Obviously, pollution does not respect borough boundaries and the impression locally is that, at the moment, the mayor does not have the requisite powers.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate. I will certainly look into his point about powers, but I know that the Mayor of London is introducing an ultra-low emissions zone in London from September 2020 covering all vehicles, so I imagine that the powers are there. We believe that there will be a significant reduction in NO2 emissions and roadside concentrations because of that, but we obviously need to do more. That is why, for instance, we are investing in many more people cycling: it is all part of reducing the amount of road traffic.