Today things are much better but living in pretty much any city around the world means that you will exposed to higher pollution.
Reading the stats like below , it's always shocking to me that all politicians who live in cities aren't demanding change.
" Worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:
29% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer
17% of all deaths and disease from acute lower respiratory infection
24% of all deaths from stroke
25% of all deaths and disease from ischaemic heart disease
43% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease"
And there's the ability to use things like wind, tidal, nuclear, geothermal generation.
Has anyone seen what it costs to get around on the tube? Or the ASTRONOMICAL costs of train tickets if you live just outside the capital?
It costs me £8 to park my electric car in London and perhaps 40-60 minutes to drive there. A train takes 30 minutes but costs almost £30 for a return ticket. How is that reasonable? That ticket for ‘public’ transport is a huge chunk of ones salary; and that’s not even adding the cost of the tube into the equation.
I recently visited London for the first time in 10 years. Obviously it’s not the same as a visitor as it is as a resident, but the public transport and the tube in particular, was fantastic. It was easy, I could use PayWay, it adjusted my fees to a daily maximum and got me everywhere quickly (except for the outages on Sundays).
It might be imperfect, but I’m envious.
Trains are, unfortunately, rather expensive, at least compared to flying and to taking a car you already own. I believe fuel and vehicle taxes should increase to the point where they pay for most if not all of road construction costs. Contrary to popular opinion, large parts of those costs are currently financed from general taxation.
Because tracks and stations make up the bulk of the cost of train rides, increases in ridership have low marginal costs. Any move to get people to use trains would therefore tend to lower per-trip costs.
I wouldn't own a car if I only used it for commuting; that's the easy case because generally most people have the same job for months at a time.
By contrast I can't simply move back to my home town without giving up work; I can't live near all of my friends that moved around the country; I can't simultaneously live everywhere I visit.
So the fact that a single or return train ticket costs hundreds of pounds makes it completely infeasible really. Most people in the UK consider it an exciting treat, not a normal mode of transport, particularly families (sod paying for 4 tickets, one is already more than the car).
The monthly ticket that is very common in Germany either doesn't exist here or is ridiculously expensive. Even if you go by tube on a daily basis you are better off paying for each trip.
e.g. Annual Travelcards give you 12 months travel for the price of ten and a half.
In reality I have a railcard so its actually £4.50pd / even less likely to hit caps.
A standard peak time return for my train into London is about 22£, according to the National Rail season ticket calculator the average journey price on the annual ticket is only 9£, so a pretty reasonable saving if you're going every day.
This is without the tube ticket (which is an add-on option on regional trains going into London), so I spend about 75-100£pcm on that as well, with contactless payments.
I think for most people commuting into London daily the saving of an annual ticket would be the equivalent of one month, so 8% off. And that of course requires paying upfront... Which means several thousands of Pounds for many people. ~£500 a month for train commute into London + tube is not uncommon.
I've always owned a car despite having lived in Z2 etc in London.
It is completely impractical to use trains for general transport unless you plan everything months in advance or you're not paying for it. The tube and NR within the Oyster zone are an exception - those are relatively cheap and work well.
Anywhere outside of the M25 is like going back to the dark ages.
Today is Friday. Let's say I decide to visit family because I'm free, a friend cancelled plans, whatever. This is not a cherry picked example; I'm typing this before I even look.
OK, I've just checked. An advance single to my hometown is between 80 and 100 GBP depending on time. That's not including travel on either side, just mainline to mainline. There are no changes required.
Most cars will do that journey for 20 GBP, in far more comfort, at any time I would like to leave (maximum traffic variation would be approx 1 hour in a 4 hour journey).
I've bought an electric vehicle because air pollution is a real problem.
But getting rid of cars? Intercity rail needs to be fixed first, and I mean really fixed - the prices need to come down by _at least_ a factor of 2.
I haven't even mentioned the fact that if you want to live within walking distance of a station that can commute into London, you've missed the window on ever owning a home that's not an absolute shoebox; so for most that actually want a real family home, a car is still the only option because living close to the tube needs inherited wealth, a 1% job, or doing it 20 years ago.
But regional trains I agree can be super expensive. So for those living outside the greater London area, that could indeed be rough.
I live in London and travel outside of it because I know people living all over the country, I take weekend holidays to nature, etc.
Via rail if I did the same journeys I do in the car it could easily cost me 500-1000GBP a month. Non-advance tickets are basically priced at the "no, we don't want you to make that journey" level.
If you buy one month in advance and at non-peak times (e.g. 12:00 on a Wednesday or similar), it will be around £30-40 probably.
It’s £150ish open return from Dundee to London via Edinburgh IIRC for standard class off peak.
Pretty much same price as Dundee to Edinburgh train > plane to stanstead > train into liverpool street.
Also takes about the same time..
I've just checked trainline and for the same dates, a train is 4hours 20, will cost £145 for "super off peak single" - and if I'm not careful booking it I'll be standing for that trip. In my case this time I'll also need to get another train from Liverpool St to east london, which is 2 more trains and an extra 30 minutes each way.
I'd much rather take the train, but the costs are often stacked against trains in favour of flying.
No one one in fifty Briton's live in Australia.
You can say "book it sooner" but it really doesn't make that much (if any) difference, booking the same ticket type (any time single) a month in advance is the same price. Imagine that, 2 hours and 15 minutes on a train for £121 (~150 USD) 50% of the time you will be standing because there aren't enough seats. Sorry to rant but the trains, and lack of cheaper reliable alternatives really gets me about this country.
Anyway, comparing train prices to an electric car probably isn't the model that the pricing is based on.
Many years ago, I actually complained to my MP that it was cheaper for one person to drive a not-cheap car (<30mpg) than take a pre-booked off-peak train. The response (from a researcher at the DoT) disagreed, and showed that after incorporating amortised insurance, road tax, depreciation, and maintenance cost, it was comparable. But of course this was for a single traveller; for two or more travellers in the same car, there was no additional cost.
Anyway, it's not surprising that partial costs of an electric car are far lower than taking the train.
To go from London to Cheltenham in the afternoon you can pay anything from £21.50 to £50.10 depending on how far in advance you buy the ticket and what route you take (direct is cheaper than change at Bristol).
And then there's a mix of restrictions or no restrictions (and those aren't always tied to price, some expensive tickets will have restrictions).
The ULEZ doesn't apply to most modern cars (a 15 year old petrol meets the bar); it primarily targets the cheat diesels.
2017 Ride100, https://cyclingindustry.news/air-quality-sees-drastic-improv...
2018 Marathon, https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-marathon-figur...
It's concerning how big of a role air pollution seems to be playing, considering it doesn't seem to be a mainstream concern.
 - https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/home-garden/interiors/des...
I'm trying to switch away from driving as much as I can nowadays, but there's a reason why people do it, especially with kids that have to be places. Ultimately, I don't think it's the issue with driving - it's the issue with cars being polluting. My next car is definitely going to be electric if possible.
And the schools they attend tend to be in a catchment area, meaning they’ll live near enough to probably not need a car and can walk at the very least.
There are buses that go down almost every road in London, with varying routes. I can only imagine it’s worth driving when in the outer boroughs, but for all intents and purposes I’m assuming we are imaging someone driving an SUV in a very congested area, where public transport is prolific. Unnecessary.
Its an issue with the structure of cities. If you let the free market decide the structure of cities with minimum regulation for over half a century, and with no concern for the environmental externalities, you get cities with sprawling suburbs and in which driving becomes a necessity.
If you make a decades long plan for the city, that makes the city go moderately vertical, doesn't give space for suburbs, but provides the other amenities of suburbs like green spaces and quiet, and consistently invest in public transit, you get cities with low environment impact and low commute times. You also avoid the problems of loneliness and social isolation that single people now face because they are forced to rent in suburbs, leading to a worse society for everyone.
I know a lot of people who drive instead of walking every single time, even when the destination is not more than 200 meters away.
Almost every day I see drivers parked on the side of the road, who, when they need to get to the other side of the road, get in their car and drive. Holy shit, the road is like 6 meters wide, and and crosswalk is never far away. How lazy can they be?
A lot of them find it too complicated to shut their engines when they're waiting for somebody, or when they go inside a store. They don't listen to music, they're not using AC (all windows are open), the weather is fine. This can only be explained by entitlement and laziness.
Now we live out in a rural area and its very noticeable how cleaner windows and paintwork are - the same also applies to our lungs!
You know a part of me did think you were about to say you had been monitoring the air in my garden, and given Facebook, Snowden, Russia, NSA and various Acts of Parliament I would not have been that surprised by one more person watching me :-)
P.S - These are pretty cheap on AliExpress - http://bit.ly/2XoW0is
Your sensors are going to break. Depending on the environment and the mode of operation of the sensor, you'll see between a one month and one year lifespan.
Why? Exactly because of the thing you want to measure: dust, oil particulates, water vapour and chemical reactions will quickly deteriorate the accuracy of the sensors. To properly protect them you will need at least a moisture trap and some kind of air pump to get a constant flow of air through your sensor. You most likely also want to filter out large particulates (if you're interested in sub 2.5 micrometer measurements).
That said, you can  get quite accurate readings from the sensors within their specified operation environment (sub 80% Relative Humidity).
It's a shame a week day was not selected, but it would be a bigger shame to have this be a once a year promotional day rather than part of a learning exercise towards reduced pollution in London.
Another link of note would be https://cleanair.london/ which brings together many of the resources that document the current air quality and either proposes or tracks the policies that may address it.
apologies for the disgusting picture
Victoria line and Nothern lines are especially bad. If you stand at one hand of the platform, you can see some weird "mist" when looking at the opposite side. That's just a high concentration of PM2.5 and PM10, and that's what causes the black snot.
It's been shown the pollution level in the tube is 30 times worst than the worst street in london. 
I moved out of the centre of london and commute by train partly for that reason. Life's short, let's not make it shorter.
The whole lot has to be spotlessly clean for it to work, in London they clean the seats on the trains and do the maintenance work there, but the actual tunnels get cleaned once in a blue moon. The whole thing needs to be polished and polish-able. London Underground isn't built like that.
A fair amount of the dirt is from the streets above, so tyres that wear to also wear the road surfaces, that sort of cruft gets drawn all the way down into the Underground.
As for actual pollution levels then this depends on where you are on the network. TfL don't measure enough to give a heatmap of pollution, updated hourly. Your statistic from the Guardian sounds about right, generally speaking though the particulates are at 10x the EU max levels.
In a communist style country you could have an army of people polishing the tube stations and the tunnels as part of some National Service. But, in a Western Democracy where everyone has to pay a four figure sum for rent + travel no matter how they try and mix it, this isn't going to happen.
They have tried to create magic sweeper trains to hoover everything up but it hasn't been a success. Really that is what is needed as well as the trains being built to 'hoover as they go', using the air-con to filter out all the cruft.
In eastern europe we have very effective ventilation - for number of reasons, one of them is that it was built much later, the other is that some of the station were built to serve as a nuclear shelter so they had to have very safe ventilation systems...
There's an interesting article on this effect here: https://www.railway-technology.com/features/featureis-the-ai...
It would be nice to see the inside of the lungs of someone who spent a life here.
It's a crying shame because Madrid has good public transport. It needs more investment to keep up with increasing demand, and all the left-wing parties had that in their election manifestos. Now the local government will be "investing" in cars, which benefits the few and harms us all.
I don't know why is it so severe. Old cars? Trucks/Buses? Factories? High humidity?
Couldn't find the date on the paywalled site.
The fact is that pollution in the 70s and 80s was much worse and we are still living here. Traffic in London has greatly reduced over the years.
So where are these pollution concerns coming from? The amount eco posturing is just way over the top.