How we are improving air quality
We have put in place a series of measures to minimise air pollution and improve air quality.
Improving air quality is one of our top priorities as a council. We know that we can only improve Lambeth’s air quality by working together. Residents need to travel more often by public transport, on foot and by bike, businesses need to use clean transport for deliveries and invest in energy-efficient buildings, and as a council we need to lead by example, reducing our own emissions and helping others to do the same.
We’re working closely with our partners at a local, regional and national level, in particular with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who wants London to be one of the world’s greenest cities. We’re working closely with the Mayor and others, bidding for special funding and joining London-wide initiatives like the Low Emission Construction Partnership.
Our 2017-2022 Air Quality Action Plan sets out the actions we will take to tackle air pollution and improve air quality. These include:
Monitoring pollution levels
Monitoring air quality allows us to look at historic trends, assess the sources and impacts of air pollution and ensure current levels of air pollution are within air quality objectives. We have over 50 diffusion tubes across Lambeth and three Air Quality Monitoring Stations in the borough which measure Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide & PM10 (small particles from e.g. smoke, dirt, dust and pollen) emissions. The monitoring stations are based in Vauxhall, Brixton and Streatham and data from each can be viewed on the LondonAir website. Please consult the ASR at the bottom of the page, to understand how the process works.
We welcome the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which covers the North of Lambeth. We are campaigning for it to be extended to cover the whole of Lambeth.
We are making it easier for our residents to travel sustainably, by creating more cycle hangar spaces, building a network of Quiteway’s protected cycle lanes and a “Try Before You Bike” scheme which provides bikes at low-cost. We are making sure that pedestrians, bikes and public transport are prioritised on our streets, with changes to our road layouts to stop rat-running.
We are supporting the shift to electric vehicles by installing over 200 new electric vehicle charging points, with 140 installed so far. Transport for London is also installing a number of rapid charging points on main roads which they manage in Lambeth.
We are working with TfL to improve traffic flows and reduce pollution. We have introduced a clean bus corridor through Brixton and Streatham, ensuring all buses comply with strict emission standards.
We are part of the Mayor’s Air Quality Funded Idling Action Project. Along with other London Councils, we are running a campaign to educate people about the dangerous pollution from idling and taking action to reduce this needless source of pollution. We run several anti-idling events throughout the year. Join an anti-idling event near you!.
Green infrastructures and Liveable Neighbourhoods
We were successful in our multi-million-pound bid to make Brixton a liveable neighbourhood so that it is no longer dominated by traffic and people can travel more safely and actively. This will reduce air pollution in Brixton and make it a better place to live and work.
We have funded a number of green screens in Lambeth and we aim to install more green infrastructures and plant more trees throughout the borough. We are growing new wildflower meadows in our wonderful parks and green spaces and reducing the areas where we regularly cut back grasses.
Working with schools
Children are among the most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, as their bodies are still developing. We aim to work with all schools in Lambeth to minimise air pollution and ensure our children play in clean air. This includes measures like timed road closures, ‘green screens’ to block air pollution and installing better insulation and heating systems which reduce emissions from schools themselves.
We have introduced school streets, timed closures of roads around schools at pick-up and drop-off times, to improve child safety and reduce traffic emissions. Following successful trials in 2019, we are continuing to expand the number of schools who are participating in the programme.
We have taken part in the Mayor’s school air quality audit programme, which carried out audits at 50 primary schools in the most polluted areas of London. We have been working with Stockwell Primary School in Brixton and St Anne’s RC Primary school in Vauxhall to deliver the recommendations of the programme.
We are also taking part in the Mayor’s Nursery school audit programme, which will carry out audits at nurseries in the most polluted areas of London and develop recommendations to reduce their exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
Unfortunately, 15 secondary schools and higher education colleges in Lambeth have been found to be within 150 metres of nitrogen dioxide pollution levels that exceed EU legal limits. We have launched a grant scheme for these schools, to deliver interventions to help mitigate the effects of air pollution.
As part of our commitment to become [Carbon Neutral by 2030](https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s107089/Appendix A LBL carbon reduction plan.pdf), we are working with the Mayor’s RE:FIT team to reduce emissions from schools and improve energy efficiency.
Lambeth Air Quality Annual Status Reports
Each year we publish an annual status report which provides an update on our progress to achieve the actions outlined in our 2017-2022 Air Quality Action Plan. Our most recent ASR can be found on our Air quality - guide download section and our Air quality guide - archived downloads.