The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) acknowledges the recent University of Bath report highlighting significant improvements in London's air quality due to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Low Emission Zone (LEZ).
The report reveals a substantial reduction in air pollutants, with particulate matter (PM10) decreasing by 13% and nitrogen dioxide levels falling by 18.4% in central London. These positive changes are linked to the implementation of ULEZ and LEZ. Beyond the environmental impact, the report also underscores the economic benefits of these initiatives, highlighting cost savings and health-related economic gains for the city.
While acknowledging the environmental and economic benefits, the CIEH is mindful of the varied perspectives on these initiatives. The organisation understands the importance of balancing public health benefits with economic considerations, especially for communities facing financial challenges.
The CIEH continues to support initiatives that prioritise the health and well-being of the UK population while advocating for policies that are inclusive and considerate of all communities.
Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health at CIEH, said:
The University of Bath's findings highlight the clear benefits of ULEZ and LEZ in reducing air pollutants and improving public health. Importantly, the report also sheds light on the economic advantages, proving that environmental health initiatives can also drive economic prosperity. This aligns with our discussions about the intersection of environmental health and economic well-being, demonstrating that we don't have to choose between health and wealth; both can be achieved simultaneously with thoughtful, inclusive policies.
While we celebrate the strides made in air quality and economic savings, we also recognise the need for policies that are equitable and do not disproportionately impact less affluent communities. Our commitment is to advocate for policies that uphold environmental health standards while being economically inclusive.
"As we move forward, our focus remains on promoting safer, cleaner, healthier environments for all. This recent report proves that with the right approach, we can create solutions that benefit both public health and economic stability."