Action on air pollution will prevent 50,803 hospital admissions

City Hall measures to tackle toxic air, including the Ultra Low Emission Zone, should prevent 50,803 hospitalisations in Enfield & Haringey by 2050, says a new report. The study carried out by Health Lumen, which estimates the long-term health benefits of clamping down on toxic air in the capital, also shows that, in Enfield & Haringey, these interventions will help to avoid £201,965,290 in costs to the NHS and social care services over the next 30 years. Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, has welcomed these figures as “incredibly positive”, and called on the Government to deliver further powers to the capital to tackle toxic air.

Across London, measures to tackle air quality will prevent almost 300,000 Londoners from developing diseases attributable to pollution such as lung cancer, heart disease and dementia. This will save the NHS around £5 billion over the next three decades.

Another report published last week has also shown that measures such as the introduction of Low Emissions Bus Zones and the rollout of electric taxi and bus fleets have led to a significant drop in the number of hours that London’s air exceeds legal pollution limits.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone was first introduced in Central London in April 2019 and will be extended to the North and South Circulars from Autumn next year.

The Mayor’s Budget for 2020/2021, which was passed by the London Assembly this week and supported by Joanne McCartney AM, has also committed £50 million to a Green New Deal for London to accelerate the capital’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of almost 10,000 Londoners each year, damages our children’s lung development and for those routinely exposed to it, increases the chances of dementia and heart disease.

“This is a public health emergency which disproportionately affects the poorest communities, so it is incredibly positive to get a glimpse of the far-reaching and transformative impact that City Hall’s environmental policies will have over the next 30 years.

“Bold policies such as the ULEZ, will help to prevent thousands of hospitalisations in our community and take a significant amount of strain off our already overstretched NHS and social care services.

“We cannot afford to rest on our laurels and it remains the case that much more could be achieved if the Government devolved more funding and powers to City Hall to expand upon its work in cleaning up the capital’s air”.