How we're improving air quality

We are committed to tackling the London wide air quality crisis head-on. We launched an ambitious new Air Quality Action Plan (PDF, 6.7mb) in 2023, recently banned engine idling and have supported local schools with a London air quality audit, that will help them to combat air pollution in the future.

We have installed extra electric car charge points, brought schools together to talk about air quality, added more electric vehicles to our fleet and introduced a 20mph speed limit on every road that Southwark Council controls, to reduce collisions and encourage more sustainable travel, such as walking and cycling. 

We work with a range of organisations, businesses and local groups to make a difference in local areas. Through our work with Better Bankside and Team London Bridge, we have supported the introduction of low emission walking routes and introduced a low emission business neighbourhood on Borough High Street

Our new School Streets campaign, which launched recently, encourages schools in suitable locations working with parents and the council, to close roads outside schools at pick up and drop off times. This helps to make the air cleaner and roads safer for school children.

All this action is underpinned by our rigorous monitoring of local air and controls on the release of pollutants, through the enforcement of air quality laws. With these and many more actions, we hope to work with the people who live, work and study in Southwark, to help improve London’s air quality.

We have declared the whole borough an Air Quality Management Area (PDF, 543kb) and:

  • constantly monitor the air to identify levels of harmful pollution, through our monitoring stations
  • have developed an Air Quality Improvement Strategy and Action Plan

We plan our services to limit pollutants in the air

We oprate services that impact on air quality including development control, transport planning, management of our vehicle fleet, management of our buildings and estate, and how we buy goods and services.

We're leading by example. We were one of the first councils to introduce 'green' council vehicles that run on either natural gas or electricity

We limit others from polluting the borough

We have strict rules for all applications that may have a negative effect on air quality within the borough. Application cover the following areas:

  • planning applications
  • fleet and vehicle management
  • parking and traffic control
  • green travel and walking

We regulate premises that are need permits under the Local Authority Pollution Control regime.

We enforce the air quality provisions of statutory nuisance legislation.

We enforce the provisions of the Clean Air Act 1993.

We limit others polluting in the borough, through advice, planning and enforcement

Page last updated: 28 February 2023


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