Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have urged the EU not to grant the UK an extension to meet air quality targets.
Mike Tuffrey, the LibDem group leader on the Assembly and spokesperson for the environment, has written to EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas saying an application made by DEFRA should be declined as “there are significant doubts that the Mayor of London will take sufficient action” to ensure the capital meets the targets.
Tuffrey urges Dimas to “reject the UK’s application” and asks that the EU “warn the Government and the Mayor that they must produce a robust, funded, action plan for tackling air pollution in London.”
Last week Mayor Johnson announced the implementation of the third phase of the Low Emission Zone from 2012.
Johnson was criticised by health campaigners in February when he shelved plans to extend the scheme, which was introduced by his predecessor in 2008, to cover vans and minibuses. This phase of the scheme was originally scheduled to come into effect from 2010.
Campaigners and opposition Assembly Members say pollution in the capital contributes towards up to 3,000 deaths in London each year.