The UK government has today been warned by the European Court of Justice over dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide air pollution in London.

The knock on effects could soon see a drastic change in the type of cars and heavy goods vehicles allowed into the city.

The news will not come as a shock to the government. Its own figures show nitrogen dioxide, emitted by diesel vehicles, is expected to continue to exceed European safety levels until 2030.

In half of London borough's deaths caused by air pollution are going up.

Credit: PA
  • 80 per cent of the children tested in East London -live in areas with illegal levels of air pollution

  • Pollution in east london is higher than any other area that's been studied in the capital

  • The low emission zone hasn't been as effective at improving air quality as was hoped

Credit: PA

Damaged lungs in childhood leads to damaged lungs in adulthood, and if you have damaged lungs in adulthood you are at an increased risk of early death. What happens in early childhood is critical to later life.

Professor Chris Griffiths, The Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

In Luxembourg today, the Europe Court of Justice disagreed with Britain's current approach, which, so far, has seen it appeal to the EU government for more time to fix the problem.

Now, British courts will be able to order the government to do more to reduce nitrogen dioxide.

Next year, the Supreme court in London is expected to spell out to the UK a time frame for improvements.