UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


BBC Breakfast interviews IEDE’s Esfand Burman about air quality

3 September 2018

Esfand Burman, Lecturer in Complex Built Environment Systems, speaks to BBC news about air quality in London.


In an attempt to tackle toxic air quality in London petrol and diesel cars will be banned from nine roads in East London during peak hours. Only ultra-low emission vehicles, such as electric cars, bikes and the newest hybrid and hydrogen vehicles will be allowed to drive during peak hours. Those in breach of the ban will receive fines of £130.

These measures are the first of their kind to happen in the UK in an attempt to reclaim the streets from pollution and improve quality of life.

UCL IEDE’s Esfand Burman was interviewed live on BBC Breakfast to comment on this new scheme.

In the interview Esfand said:

I think environmentally it is a major step in the right direction. However we shouldn’t treat it as a measure in isolation, but consider it as an overall package of potential solutions. As it understand it, there are plans, for example, to extend this scheme to other busy roads of London and it is quite important to be aware of unintended consequences as well. We might see for example, a shift in the pattern of outdoor pollution to other parts of London so it is quite important to monitor the effectiveness of the scheme as well. But overall, as a starting point environmentally it is a sound decision.

Read more about UCL IEDE’s research in the area of air quality.