Chris Smith, Green Party GLA candidate for City and East, has criticised Boris Johnson’s attitude towards London’s pedestrians and cyclists, saying they are “second class citizens” under the current Mayor.
This was prompted by a newspaper report alleging Boris Johnson had been ‘hiding’ London air pollution by using dust suppressants to artificially alter the readings of offical air quality monitors.
The accusations, made in a letter written to the environment secretary Caroline Spelman by 34 Labour MPs on Tuesday, arrive with less than two weeks until the Mayoral Elections – a race in which Labour’s candidate Ken Livingstone has drawn level in the polls with Johnson – and less than one week after Mr Smith launched a video highlighting the issue of London’s dangerous air quality.
The video, entitled ‘Air Pollution: A 21st Century Health Scandal’ includes interviews with the Green Party’s London Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones and Simon Birkett, Director of the Campaign for Clean Air in London, and testimony from pedestrians and cyclists. It demonstrates high levels of polution near roads in central London and also attacks the method of ‘gluing’ vehicle emission particles to floor.
Chris Smith reiterated his party’s commitment to clean air saying: “Air Pollution has not improved in the last 10 years and attempts to defraud the pollution monitor readings using ‘glue’ technology is nothing short of a public scandal. The poorest in our society suffer most and the current Mayor has shown nothing less than contempt for the people of London in promoting a car-centric city.”
The question of air pollution remains pertinent among the mayoral candidates. London Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick proposes a Berlin-style ‘clean air zone’ for central London, a programme to eliminate the most polluting diesel engines from public transport used there.
Additional reporting by Laurence Dodds.
Election coverage on East London Lines