London mayor Boris Johnson has scrapped the third phase of London's Low Emission Zone (LEZ), due to come into force in October 2010, commenting that in times of recession additional costs would be "a punch in the ribs" to businesses.

By Transport for London's own admission London air pollution is "the worst in the United Kingdom and among the worst in Europe" and London's continued failure to meet EU standards over air pollution has seen the European Commission recently announcing court action against the UK government.

The LEZ was brought into force last year to get the worst-polluting vehicles off London's roads but, according to the Green Party, in 2008 18 London stations recorded pollution levels in breach of EU limits and it still needs to reduce pollution by more than a third in the next few months to meet EU limits.

The LEZ operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and covers most of Greater London. It currently applies to buses, coaches and large lorries that are required to pay a