Londoners should get free travel 'taster', says leading doctor

Local Democracy Reporting Service


Londoners should get a week of free travel to change commuter habits and tackle toxic air pollution in the capital, a leading doctor has said.

Sir Sam Everington, chairman of the London Clinical Commissioning Council, said a “try before you buy” public transport pass would encourage commuters to leave their cars at home.

London has suffered from illegal levels of air pollution since 2010.

Traffic is to blame for most of the capital’s dirty air, with particularly high levels of nitrogen dioxide released by vehicle exhausts.

Central London, Kensington and Chelsea and Tower Hamlets have recorded some of the highest level of the toxic gas in the UK.

“When I turned 60 I got a free Oyster card and it completely changed the way I travelled,” Sir Sam told an east London health and wellbeing board.

“If we could provide people with free travel for just a week this would change the way they see the London public transport network."

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “We offer a range of discounted or free fares, but currently have no plans to introduce additional free travel concessions.

"We are tackling London’s toxic air with one of the world’s most ambitious air quality programmes."

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