Broadcasters urged to issue daily air quality bulletins

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called for TV and radio broadcasters to inform Londoners about air pollution levels through daily news and weather bulletins.

The Mayor has written to senior figures at BBC London, ITV London and LBC to ask them to include updates on the quality of London’s air during their news bulletins and weather reports and on their websites and apps, which would be coordinated with the existing city-wide alert system.

Alerts are displayed on the day before and during high air pollution levels in the winter on TfL signage

City Hall has already utilised electronic signage across the capital’s transport network to alert Londoners when there are high levels of pollution in the air.

The alerts are displayed at 2,500 bus countdown signs and river pier signs, 140 road-side dot matrix message signs on the busiest main roads into the city – with advice to switch engines off when stationary to reduce emissions – and electronic update signs in the entrances of all 270 London Underground stations.

Threat

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s filthy air poses a significant threat to our health including harming the development of children’s lungs, and I’m committed to tackling this issue so Londoners can breathe the clean air they deserve.

“I’m pressing ahead with bold and ambitious plans to improve air quality in the capital through measures such as the T-charge, the launch of which is only a few weeks away, as well as in-depth work to help us understand the full impact of poor air.

“Broadcasters are already doing excellent work covering the threat to public health posed by the capital’s filthy air and I’m asking them to go even further and help empower Londoners to reduce their exposure to harmful pollution. They can do this by providing regular daily air quality information as part of their weather broadcasts.

“I hope that the growing number of weather apps that many Londoners now use will also follow suit and provide air quality information.”

Speaking at an air quality conference in 2015, BBC weather presenter Clare Nasir, highlighted the challenge of raising air pollution in weather bulletins and other news updates (see airqualitynews.com story).