It’s become something of a New Year tradition in the capital: the news story revealing that London has breached annual EU air quality laws in just a matter of days.

According to today’s report in The Guardian newspaper, EU regulations demand that Nitrogen Dioxide levels must ‘not exceed 200 micrograms per cubic metre of air more than 18 times in a whole year’.

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This year’s first breach in London was on the main A23 road running through Brixton in South London. It’s usually Putney High Street - four miles west of Brixton - that is the primary pollution hot spot. But, despite measures taken by the local council in 2016, including banning daytime lorry deliveries, not much has improved there either. 

The Guardian quotes figures from King’s College saying that these hourly pollution limits were broken ‘1221 times’ on Putney High Street.

Of course, it’s not the whole of the capital that is under fog of Nitrogen Dioxides, but over the next few weeks and months, places such as Oxford Street, the Strand and King’s Road in Chelsea - all shopping and tourist centres - will also go over the EU limits.