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Joggers told to avoid certain London City streets due to air pollution

Air pollution means London's streets are not always safe for exercising in. Photo: Reuters

The City of London have issued a new alert system to warn joggers to exercising in areas where air levels are unsafe.

Due to potentially toxic levels of air pollution in several areas around the city, joggers are being warned to avoid several main intersections when pollution levels are high. The streets to be avoided include:

  • Bank Junction
  • Bishopsgate into Gracechurch Street
  • Upper into Lower Thames Street
  • Farringdon Street into New Bridge Street.

Jon Averns, Public Protection Director at the City of London Corporation, said the routes did not have to be avoided every day, but central London was vulnerable to summer smog air pollution, and people should take precautions over the next few months.

This type of smog can cause high pollution episodes, which are bad for everyone, but particularly dangerous for people with existing respiratory, heart or lung problems. During very bad pollution episodes, even a normally fit and healthy person can experience issues. Strenuous exercise means deeper breathing and more particles inhaled into the lungs, so we are calling on Londoners to plan their travel routes and avoid jogging through pollution hot spots.

– Jon Averns, Public Protection Director, City of London Corporation
The app alerts users to areas that are not safe to go jogging on, during peak pollution times. Credit: City of London Corporation.

The City of London has launched a free phone app to alert people of potentially harmful levels of pollution - as they change and increase throughout the summer.

The app - 'City Air' - alerts users to periods of high pollution, and shows levels of all currently measured types of pollution - nitrogen dioxide, small particiles, PM10 and PM2.5 and ozone - across the capital.

It also generates the best routes in order to avoid toxic levels of air pollution - for joggers, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Ruth Calderwood, Environmental Policy Officer at City of London Corporation said it was vital that Londoners could act to to protect themselves from the invisible threat posed by toxic air.

Modern day pollution is invisible, but the ground-breaking augmented reality 3D view of air pollution across London really helps users see their city in a new way. We want to alert Londoners to the problem areas so they can take action themselves, and manage their own behaviour – even if it’s just to go jogging in the evening rather than the morning, or avoid more polluted areas.

– Ruth Calderwood

Download the app and find out more about it here.