Reports that Transport for London are considering removing buses from Oxford Street.
On National No Smoking Day Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has welcomed the decision by Transport for London to install no smoking signs in all of its bus shelters.
By the end of April ‘no smoking’ stickers will now be added to 9,800 bus shelters which currently have no signage. At present just 2700 of London bus shelters have no smoking signage. In response to previous requests to install ‘no smoking’ signs the Mayor suggested that merely placing ‘no smoking’ signs at new and refurbished bus shelters was satisfactory.
Explaining why the new signage is so welcome Caroline Pidgeon said:
“Whatever one thinks about smoking no one, and especially children, should be forced to inhale cigarette smoke simply because they are waiting for a bus.
“This long overdue decision to make all of London’s bus shelters no smoking is good news for the lungs of London’s children.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Mayoral Answer to Caroline Pidgeon’s recent question confirming that all London bus shelters will have ‘no smoking’ stickers installed in them.
2. The previous policy of the Mayor and TfL towards no smoking signage at bus shelters:
Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on today European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on ClientEarth's case against the UK government over its failure to tackle air pollution said:
"This is an incredibly welcome decision. No one can choose not to breathe the air around us so the right to breathe clean air is fundamental.
"For too many years the Mayor of London, the Coalition Government and the Brown and Blair Governments have consistently failed to address the issue of air pollution, despite it being the second biggest public health issue that we face. The staggering complacency that too many people have shown towards the issue of air pollution has been shameful.
"It is time that we finally met the EU legal standards on air pollution which as a country we signed up to many years ago. The time for excuses for not taking real action to tackle air pollution has long passed.
"A big switch towards zero emission electric buses and taxis, not diesel hybrids, is now vital in London. Bringing forward the start date of the Ultra Low Emission Zone and real moves to tackle air pollution in places such as Oxford Street must now happen."
Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on the Mayor's agreement to his request at today's Mayor's Question Time to put air pollution alerts on the www.london.gov.uk website said:
"Air pollution causes the premature death of an estimated 4,250 Londoners each year and the Mayor has a clear legal duty to improve public health in London. Yet until today he had repeatedly refused to issue air pollution information to Londoners. His agreement today to start doing so is therefore a very significant step that shows he is at last taking some responsibility for the problem.
"However, much more action is needed and the Mayor also admitted today that the launch of his "Breathe Better Together" initiative to alert Londoners to bad pollution days has been delayed yet again and is not now expected until September, 15 months after funding was first agreed. The launch was previously promised for "early 2014".
"Ensuring Londoners know about air pollution and can avoid unnecessary exposure during the worst pollution episodes is vital to public health and the Mayor should be using every opportunity open to him to ensure everyone is informed."