One of the main issues we have to tackle in Hampstead is ever-worsening air pollution. Because of the congestion created by the school run – including thousands of parents driving in from across north London – the area’s air quality has deteriorated rapidly, and urgent action is required.
1. Rapidly expand electric vehicle charging points
With much of the pollution being created by vehicle exhausts, it’s vital to ensure that cars in Hampstead are as ecologically friendly as possible. Electric vehicle sales are soaring, and the Conservative government has introduced a number of schemes to encourage the expansion of electric vehicles.
Sadly, Camden has just 28 electric vehicle charging points: far fewer neighbouring boroughs. This, combined with the fact that very few properties in Hampstead have garages, makes it very difficult for local residents to own electric vehicles. I am working to rapidly expand the number of electric vehicle charging points, using extensive subsidies from central government, to make it easier to go electric and make our air cleaner.
2. Enforce proper fines against engine idling
Engine idling is a significant issue locally, especially in and around schools. This summer, Westminster City Council introduced £80 fines for idling the engine of a stationary vehicle and refusing to switch it off when asked by a warden.
Camden has decided not to follow Westminster’s lead and impose £80 fines, and has settled for £20 fines instead. If Camden is serious about reducing pollution from engine idling, it should impose proper fines, not half-measures.
3. Plant more trees
Besides looking beautiful, trees play a vital part in cleaning the air. As well as removing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, London’s urban trees remove between 850 and 2,000 tonnes of particulate pollution from the air every year: potentially as much as is emitted by all London road transport combined. Increased tree coverage helps reduce this further and reduce the effect of excess heat.
That’s why I am pushing to plant more trees on streets in Hampstead: to make our community greener and make our air cleaner. The sites have to be chosen carefully, but I believe we can plant at least 100 net new trees on streets in Hampstead Town over the next four years: from Well Walk to Haverstock Hill.
News about this campaign
- 9 December 2017: Labour’s £20 fine for engine idling is a typical half-measure on air quality
- 29 October 2017: Make Camden electric website launched
- 10 October 2017: Helping Heath visitors go green with electric vehicles
- 15 September 2017: Camden should be leading the way in cleaning our air, not lagging behind
- 10 September 2017: Oliver proposes motion amendment calling for more electric vehicle charging points
- 13 August 2017: Sadiq Khan finally signs up to the National Park City scheme, but his words ring hollow
- 8 August 2017: Surveying support for electric vehicles
- 4 August 2017: Electric vehicles continue to boom – but not in Camden
- 27 June 2017: Promoting electric vehicles and tackling air pollution
- 11 June 2017: Electric vehicles surge shows need for more charging capacity
- 12 June 2016: Treasuring London’s green spaces as a National Park