This week, this letter by me has been published in both the Barnet Press and the Barnet Times:
A cycling hire scheme is to be introduced in North Finchley, according to Barnet Council, with money granted from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund. Well, Hello!
Cllr Dean Cohen is quoted admitting that “We know some of our high streets are more polluted than we’d like them to be.” That’s a welcome surprise. The measly two air monitors we have in Barnet were registering pollutants exceeding allowable levels right up until a year or so ago. Since then the readings have changed, just when Barnet opted out of the main London Air Quality network, and started streaming the results to a marginal database used by only five London boroughs.
The measures proposed in North Finchley are welcome, but will be token unless they are the first step towards properly tackling the air pollution that makes London the most polluted capital city in Europe and which is among the two biggest contributors to deaths in London.