Wednesday, December 18, 2019

London Assembly Environment Committee, Call On Mayor To Instruct TfL To Clean Up Toxic Tube Dust

Mayor of London pledged to tackle pollution and poor air on the London Underground.  

3 years on, little progress has been made in understanding health risks from Toxic Tube Dust. 

A letter from the GLA Environment Committee has now been sent to the Mayor to urgently instruct TfL to make it a bigger priority than it presently is.

The London Assembly Environment Committee has today written to the Mayor with recommendations on how to better understand and protect Londoners from potentially harmful Tube dust.

The Committee’s letter to the Mayor makes a number of recommendations on Tube dust including:
  1. Transport for London (TfL) must keep the Committee informed of progress on the studies it commissioned on Tube dust and confirm the timelines for the publications of the results.
  2. TfL must ensure that the exposure to Tube dust of all station staff is monitored, whether they are contractors or directly employed by TfL.  

Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee, Caroline Russell AM said: 

“When Sadiq Khan became Mayor in 2016 he pledged to tackle pollution and poor air on the London Underground.  However, three years on it is clear from our investigation that little progress has been made in understanding the possible health risks from Tube dust.  

There are very high concentrations of small particles in the underground and worryingly we just don’t know if they are harmful or not. 
“While we know TfL has commissioned studies on the matter, the findings must be publicly available as soon as possible. 

 “We are particularly concerned about contract cleaners working on the Tube. The Committee has been told that no one is monitoring the health of these cleaners simply because they are not directly employed by TfL.  This is unacceptable. 

“We have called on the Mayor to urgently instruct TfL to make Tube dust a bigger priority than it currently is.  We need to see real action being taken to identify any health harm and to tackle Tube dust on all Underground lines.  We have asked the Mayor to respond to our recommendations by 7 February 2020.”

As Taxis have a mandated legal duty to carry wheelchair users, perhaps the GLA can ask the mayor to remind TfL and local councils, they have a legal duty to allow these taxis to get to wherever wheelchair users want to no extra cost of taking diversionary routes.


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