Installed in collaboration with Breathe London and the borough councils covering both Greenwich and Tower Hamlets, the eight monitoring stations are located close to the Greenwich Ship Tier landing stage. They will capture data all day long, with the raw data available at the websites of both the PLA and Breathe London. A full analysis of the results will be published in early 2020.

Supplied by Gloucestershire-based Air Monitors Limited, the technology used in Greenwich mirrors that used in other major studies around the world.

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The monitors are part of the PLA’s Air Quality Strategy, published in May 2018, which is the first to be produced by a UK port. Challenging 25-year targets described in the strategy include halving levels of Nitrogen Oxides and Particular Matter from river-related sources, while also increasing the use of the river for carrying both freight and passengers.

Measures already applied include a programme of retrofitting older vessels with the latest environmentally-friendly technology.

In January 2019, the PLA also doubled to 10% its Green Tariff discount available to IMO registered vessels with an Environmental Ship Index rating of 30 or more, whose environmental performance goes over and above legal requirements.

Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive, stated:

The data these monitors collect will give us a comprehensive understanding of the impact that the cruise ships have on air quality when they are in town. It’s crucial to have this information, so that we can address the concerns that we know are very strongly held by local residents