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