Pollution solutions: Behavioural change

  • 7 March 2017
  • From the section London
A hybrid diesel and electric powered bus Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One of the first hybrid diesel and electric powered buses went into service on London's route 141 in March 2007

When I started first reporting on pollution in London, many moons ago, the real concern was particulate matter - the tiny particles mainly from traffic - that can cause health problems.

We still have episodes of high particulates in London - there was one a few weeks ago compounded by high levels of wood burning.

The focus now though is nitrogen dioxide (NO2) mainly from diesel engines and how that can be reduced.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan estimates thousands of Londoners every year have their lives shortened by pollution.

Ironically, London is probably at the forefront of anti-pollution policy.

Read full article Pollution solutions: Behavioural change

Redrawing industrial relations could come at a cost

  • 23 February 2017
  • From the section London
Commuters wait outside Clapham Junction during a tube strike in London Image copyright Reuters

Yesterday there was a strike over driver relocation on the Central Line.

The day before saw a strike ballot on career progression with the part-time Night Tube drivers and a dispute over a "breakdown in industrial relations" with maintenance workers.

Read full article Redrawing industrial relations could come at a cost

Tube ticket office row resolved but at what cost?

  • 3 February 2017
  • From the section London
Tube strike Image copyright PA

It has been three long years in the making, but today it seems as if we have a resolution to the closure of Tube ticket offices.

On 21 November 2013, the then mayor Boris Johnson stood with the then head of London Underground (LU) Mike Brown and announced all ticket offices would be shut on the Tube network.

Read full article Tube ticket office row resolved but at what cost?

Pollution in London from wood burning on the rise

  • 25 January 2017
  • From the section London
Wood burning stove Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pollution from wood burners are on the rise

If there was one surprise from the recent very high pollution levels, it was the fact that according to King's College some of the pollution was due to "unusually high levels of domestic wood burning".

This is not to underestimate the contribution of traffic emissions but wood burning, according to the experts, was making up half of the pollution readings at some monitors at some sites - all exacerbated by low winds not blowing away pollutants.

Read full article Pollution in London from wood burning on the rise

No resolution in sight in Southern row

  • 10 January 2017
  • From the section London
An information board advises passengers about strike action by Southern Rail outside Clapham Junction station Image copyright Getty Images

I watched the Southern strike special on Monday night on BBC One where the RMT's Mick Lynch clashed with Govia Thameslink Railway's Charles Horton.

While neither side changed position, what was striking was how animosity and virtually non-existent industrial relations seems to be preventing a deal.

Read full article No resolution in sight in Southern row

Tfl business plan: Flab, uncertainties & the biggest overhaul ever

  • 9 December 2016
  • From the section London
The Tube Image copyright Getty Images

Sadiq Khan's business plan sets out his priorities over the next five years at Transport for London (TfL).

It highlights cycling, tackling pollution and protecting investment as key areas.

Read full article Tfl business plan: Flab, uncertainties & the biggest overhaul ever

Autumn Statement: Is rail devolution in London dead?

  • 24 November 2016
  • From the section London
Train tracks around Clapham Junction Image copyright PA
Image caption Many services currently run at capacity

Sadiq Khan is not the first mayor to want more control over London's rail service.

Previous mayors have managed it - Ken Livingstone took over Silverlink and Boris Johnson gained control of West Anglia.

Read full article Autumn Statement: Is rail devolution in London dead?

Croydon Tram derailment: Definitive answers could be a while

  • 14 November 2016
  • From the section London
Overturned tram Image copyright EPA
Image caption British Transport Police has arrested the driver

It would have been cold, windy, wet and still dark as the commuters got onto the Croydon tram at about 06:00.

This was an everyday commute that passengers had probably done many times. The tram was busy.

Read full article Croydon Tram derailment: Definitive answers could be a while

Pollution politics: Mayor's plans won't clean up London's air without help

  • 10 November 2016
  • From the section London
Pollution monitoring stations
Image caption Many pollution monitoring stations across London show areas are breaking legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide

Pollution is a health scandal that is estimated to prematurely kill nearly 10,000 Londoners a year.

Yet because it is mainly invisible and the impacts on the body can take decades to appear, it has largely escaped political action.

Read full article Pollution politics: Mayor's plans won't clean up London's air without help

Heathrow or Gatwick: Final decision could be two years away

  • 19 October 2016
  • From the section London
Artist impression of third runway at Heathrow Image copyright Heathrow Airport/PA

If the history of UK infrastructure tells us anything, deciding to build something is a very different proposition to actually doing it.

That is particularly true around the thorny and politically toxic issue of aviation.

Read full article Heathrow or Gatwick: Final decision could be two years away