London Worst City For Health Cost Of Car Emissions

Wed 21st Oct 2020

A Dutch environmental consultancy has published data saying London has the highest health costs from car pollution than any country in Europe.

By examining data from the World Health Organisation and Eurostat, CE Delft revealed that the social cost of London’s air pollution is almost double that of the second worst city, Bucharest. The UK capital’s car emissions problems are so costly to its citizens that a 2018 report has suggested that every car in London costs the NHS an average of £8,000.

Published on the European Public Health Alliance’s website, the data shows that London’s social cost is £10.3 billion, Bucharest is £5.75 billion and Berlin is £4.75 billion.

“Our study reveals the magnitude of the damage toxic air is causing to people’s health and the huge health inequalities that exist between and within countries in Europe,” said Sascha Marschang, the acting secretary general of the EPHA. “To a large extent, the situation can be influenced by transport policies and cities can reduce costs by switching to zero-emission urban mobility.”

“Governments and the European Union should bear these costs in mind for transport policy in order to support, not to hinder, a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marschang added.

Separate research from the Royal College of Physicians reports that London’s air pollution causes almost 9,500 early deaths a year.