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Improving the capital’s air is Londoners’ most important sustainability priority

03 March – Londoners rate improving air quality as the most important sustainability priority for their city according to a poll by professional services consultancy, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.


In a survey of over 1,000 Londoners, improving air quality (41%) and better public transport networks (40%) were selected by Londoners as the green areas that local government policy should be prioritising in the capital. A marginally smaller proportion (37%) believe that improving accessibility to healthcare should be a priority policy area. Together these three areas are rated as more than cutting waste to landfill, improving energy efficiency, resilience to extreme weather and water efficiency.

David Symons, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff environmental director commented   “Bad air has been a hidden issue for many cities for years, but that’s changed.  One in four say they’ve seriously considered moving out of London because of bad air quality. It should be a key priority for the next mayor, helping London thrive and helping us all to breathe easily.”

“Phasing out more polluting cars, taxis and buses and replacing gas with electric heating are two practical actions the mayor can take right away to improve London’s air.  There’s no magic bullet, but strong, clear action is needed right now.”

To deliver clean air, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s 2014 report Powering ahead – fast track to an all-electric city says that London has the opportunity to transform itself from an air pollution laggard to a global leader by committing to an all-electric future. This would be achieved by moving to increasingly available electric cars and heat pumps as existing equipment reaches the end of its life.

Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group: “Tackling London’s environmental challenges isn’t a luxury but a necessity. Air pollution isn’t just bad for health, it also impacts on the productivity of the workforce and undermines the attractiveness of London as a place to work and do business. If we want London to be a modern, sustainable and competitive city in the 21st century, then the next Mayor will have to make tackling air pollution one of its key policy priorities.”

For media enquiries please contact the Press Office on 0207 314 4585 or press.office@wspgroup.com

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff are now one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We bring together our 34,500 staff, based in more than 500 offices, across 40 countries to provide engineering and multidisciplinary services in a vast array of industry sectors, with a focus on technical excellence and client service.

In the UK, 5,150 people provide consultancy services to all aspects of the built and natural environment working across both the public and private sectors, with local and national governments, local authorities, developers, contractors and co-professionals. The combined business has been involved in many high profile UK projects including the Shard, Crossrail, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham, the re-development of London Bridge Station, Manchester Metrolink and the London Olympic & Paralympic Route Network.



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