Air pollution

The principal driver of air pollution in London is road transport and, within that, diesel vehicles. Nearly 40 per cent of all NOx emissions within London come from diesel vehicles. High motor traffic flows and congestion also contribute to an unsafe environment and poor air quality, with its negative health impacts on residents. Improving conditions for walking and cycling and discouraging people from driving is critical if we are to reduce air pollution and make our neighbourhoods more attractive and liveable for everyone.

We tackle air pollution in Hackney by:

  • monitoring air pollution levels in the borough and deciding whether any air pollutants are exceeding national air quality objectives
  • declaring air quality management areas and producing and implementing an air quality action plan to reduce air pollution levels - read the proposed air quality action plan 2015-19
  • controlling industrial pollution
  • investigating and enforcing air quality nuisance and idling vehicles

Low Emission Neighbourhood

City Fringe Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) will include tree planting, an emphasis on walking and cycling with improved pavements and cycle routes, and parking spaces for the sole use of the cleanest vehicles. It is being developed with Islington and Tower Hamlets and funded by the Mayor of London.

Zero emissions network (ZEN)

The Zero Emissions Network is a tri-borough (Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets) initiative that helps businesses reduce their impact on air quality. 

Free bespoke advice and access to exclusive services are available, including:

  • grant of up to £2,000 to improve the workplace
  • free eco-audit of business premises to help reduce energy and save money
  • free business membership to Zipcar/City Car Club worth £160
  • free half days bike maintenance session
  • free 1-2-1 cycle training for all your staff
  • reduced fares for electric taxis
  • free trials of electric cars and vans
  • free trial of cargo bikes
  • exclusive discounts (e.g. 20% ZEN discount on Nissan Leaf)
  • free advice on how all of these can save your business £££'s

Join the network

Report idling vehicles

Idling is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulations 1984. Also, turning off your engine and restarting it after a minute or longer causes less pollution than keeping the engine idling and uses less fuel. So if you see cars idling somewhere on a regular basis please let us know so that we can try to do something about it.

Email us at: with relevant information including:

  • location
  • type of vehicle
  • time of day

What can businesses to do improve air quality?

There are many things that businesses can do to improve air quality in areas such as transportation, building efficiency, energy use and policy, whilst saving money.

We would like businesses to:

  • use zero/low emission vehicles for deliveries and business travel
  • encourage staff and visitors to walk, cycle or use public transport
  • ensure premises are run in an energy efficient manner
  • choose green energy suppliers
  • dispose of waste in a sustainable way
  • build sustainability into your company policy

Air quality monitoring programme

We continuously monitor nitrogen dioxide, ozone, PM10 (particles from vehicle fumes, industrial emissions and some natural sources, that can be breathed in to the lungs) and PM2.5 (fine particles that are understood to have the biggest impact on public health of all particulate air pollution) on Old Street, and nitrogen dioxide at 15 other sites.

 More information about air quality programs

Page updated: 08/10/2018 10:58:55