On a walk along the streets of London we are fascinated by the bright shop windows, the crowds of tourists coming from many parts of the world, the artists who on every street corner entertain us with bizarre performances.
Whilst we enjoy everything around us, we forget that a crowded and bright environment is also composed of the air we breathe.
Within the heart of the city of London the congestion charge appears to be one of the main issues for drivers.
Recently Autogas has claimed LPG should be re-listed as exempt from congestion zone charging and will save millions of lives, in response to a new research conducted by King’s College that revealed 9,400 people die each year in the capital as a result of long-term exposure to air pollution – more than twice as many as previously thought.
Why LPG can save Londoners’ lives
The reasons for premature deaths are caused by two key pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulates (PM2.5) which are both significantly lower in vehicles powered by LPG compared with both petrol and diesel.
Indeed, NO2 emissions from LPG vehicles are up to 80% lower than diesel and particulates are up to 98% lower than diesel.
As Linda Gomersall, general manager at Autogas, has reminded in an interview for Business Car Manager, “in the past, incentives were available to those converting to LPG. Motorists travelling into the city on autogas LPG were rewarded for taking the cleaner option by receiving a 100% discount from the congestion charge.”
However, as often happens, since the Mayor’s office removed this discount and the wider conversion incentive was withdrawn, many drivers fail to consider this cleaner alternative, often going back to more heavily polluting diesels. The re-introduction of the discount, as Linda Gomersall said, will encourage once again the motorists to return to the cleaner fuel, by guaranteeing an immediate improvement in London’s air quality.
The latest news about the exposure risks of Londoners to air pollution comes just months after the order stated by Supreme Court for the British Government to take swift action to improve air quality across the UK, as it continues to breach EU levels. It seems that only two districts within the London area, Bromley and Sutton, were the only two boroughs to meet annual mean limits for NO2 in 2013.
In the light of what has been reported, it is essential to produce a route change for the current British regulations and increase London drivers’ awareness on the risks that exposure to air pollution might generate, in order to prevent the mentioned huge amount of premature deaths caused by exposure to bad air quality coming from solid fuels.
Thanks to the initiatives conducted by the main associations in the LPG industry, we are aware of the benefits that LPG can produce on the environment and how its low emission could reduce effectively many issues related to the air quality.
As safety and health are the main concerns on which it is important to focus, our composite LPG cylinders could guarantee high standards which will benefit both the environment and Londoners’ health in a long-term prospective.