Lewisham has second highest emergency asthma admissions amid Ulez expansion <i>(Image: Archant)</i>

Lewisham has second highest emergency asthma admissions amid Ulez expansion (Image: Archant)

Lewisham has the second-highest number of emergency asthma admissions in London for 2021/22, following closely behind Brent, according to new analysis by Asthma + Lung UK.

This increase in asthma admissions amongst young Londoners is strongly linked to higher air pollution in deprived areas like Lewisham, according to the charity.

Brent, Lewisham, and Barking and Dagenham have the highest number of child admissions for asthma, with these areas experiencing twice the level of deprivation compared to Barnet.

Asthma and Lung UK have said that multiple studies have provided strong evidence that worsening asthma symptoms are associated with higher levels of air pollution and approximately 240,000 children in London are living with asthma.

Children, in particular those with asthma, are highly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution due to their faster breathing rate.

Prolonged exposure to air pollution can even lead to new asthma cases or trigger symptoms in those already affected, potentially resulting in life-threatening attacks.

The charity has gone on to praise Ulez and clean air zones suggesting that they help in the battle against bad air quality but urges the Government to “aid the most vulnerable in adopting cleaner transport through a focused scrappage scheme”.

Asthma + Lung UK said that there has been a 40 per cent reduction in central London since the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez), but there are still significant disparities in air pollution across different areas.

The recent Ulez expansion has been a controversial move with many Londoners criticizing the scheme and protesting against it with the cost-of-living crisis has been labelled as an important backdrop to this.

The expansion introduced at the end of August means most motorists driving polluting cars within the zone will have to pay £12.50 a day.

TfL says nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are compliant.

Separate figures obtained by the RAC show more than 690,000 licensed cars in the whole of London are likely to be non-compliant.

While clean air campaigners highlight the impact of pollution, particularly on children’s health and development, detractors claim it is an unfair charge at a time when many households and businesses are struggling.

The recent unsuccessful legal challenge to the expansion by four Tory-run councils largely focused on procedures and the consultation but their main concerns were over the economic and social impact on communities.

Tim Dexter, Clean Air Lead at Asthma + Lung UK, said: "Asthma attacks peak in Lewisham during September as kids return to school and roads get busier.

“The government must act on air pollution in Lewisham to protect our children. It’s not right that children in Lewisham or Brent, where pollution and deprivation are high, face more asthma attacks than those in Barnet or Kensington & Chelsea.

“All kids deserve clean air; ULEZ and Clean Air Zones help.

“The government must invest in a clean air future for our children’s sake.

“We urge them to implement a nationwide programme in England to aid the most vulnerable in adopting cleaner transport through a focused scrappage scheme."

Source link