Mother of young girl who died from exposure to London traffic says she is ‘concerned’ about the impact of Ulez expansion on poorer people
- Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah’s daughter Ella died from asthma attack in 2013
- In an inquest in 2020 Ella became the first to have air pollution as cause of death
Rosamund Adoo Kissi Debrah has campaigned for cleaner air in cities since her daughter Ella died aged nine in 2013 after an asthma attack.
In a landmark inquest in 2020 at Southwark Coroner’s Court, Ella became the first person to have air pollution officially listed as a cause of death.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan met Ms Adoo Kissi Debrah yesterday in an apparent bid to help convince Londoners that his Ulez expansion was the right thing to do.
But it appeared to backfire when the air pollution campaigner said the scheme was suffering from ‘teething problems’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in Catford, south east London, on the first day of the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone
Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah who died died in February 2013 from a severe asthma attack
She said yesterday was ‘a good day for everyone’ but that ‘individual things need to be looked at’ in relation to helping poorer and vulnerable motorists affected.
Ms Adoo Kissi Debrah added: ‘I’m not in charge of the scheme but every scheme you bring in, there are teething problems… There will always be people adversely affected, we need to limit this as much as possible.
‘Unfortunately, it does cost to clean up the air and this isn’t a party political thing, we need the Government to contribute because the more money there is in the scrappage scheme, you can bring more people in.
‘Of course I’m concerned because we don’t want the poorest to be impacted, but to speak to those people who are incredibly poor, who don’t even own a car, who are on the main roads waiting for buses, I hope, in time, they will have cleaner air as well because they don’t even own a car and yet they are adversely impacted.’
Mr Khan has introduced a scrappage scheme for affected motorists.
However, there are concerns that the £2,000 on offer to drivers is not enough to cover the price of a newer, compliant model.
The scrappage scheme is also not available to drivers in the Home Counties living near the outer London border who need to cross it for work or leisure.
Sadiq Khan has dropped plans to demand a fee for all non-electric cars in central London following the backlash over Ulez.
The Mayor of London had pledged to establish a zero emissions zone by 2025 but his office has now confirmed that the plan has been shelved.
First published in 2018, the plans would have ‘likely’ seen a daily charge imposed on drivers of all vehicles that produced emissions.
The mayor’s office has now said that it will instead focus on other avenues for hitting the capital’s 2030 target for net zero emissions.
However, it said that individual London boroughs would still be able to implement zero emission zones with the support of Transport for London (TfL).
A spokesman for the mayor told the Financial Times: ‘TfL continues to support boroughs who wish to implement zero emission zones in their local areas.
‘The mayor is rolling out some of the most ambitious policies of any city in the world to clean up London’s air, including the expansion of the ultra low emission zone, bringing cleaner air to 5 million more Londoners.’