A mum whose three-year-old daughter was hospitalised due to high air pollution levels has said that Ulez does not go far enough to tackle the problem in London.

Jemima Hartshorn, the founder of Mums for Lungs, a campaign group against toxic air, has claimed that more traffic schemes need to be introduced to combat the impact of pollutants.

Her comments come just a week after London’s ultra-low emissions zone was expanded to the capital’s outer boroughs.

But Jemima, who lives in Southwark, told this paper that individual vehicle use needs be driven down even further to prevent children growing up with “stunted lungs”.

She said: “In the current debate of the Ulez, we’re seeing that convenience of individual drivers, or the business interests of driving, are pitted against children’s health.

“We know that a quarter of a million children in London have asthma and that comes at a huge human and financial cost to all of us, but primarily to the families of those children affected.”

Jemima’s family has itself been impacted by the problems associated with air pollution, with her daughter having to be taken to A&E last year after she suffered from wheezing.

Her daughter, who was aged three at the time, was unable to walk during the episode and missed nursery while she recovered.

Jemima said: “It’s so avoidable. We sit there with our children needing beds, needing hospital care at a huge cost to the NHS when they should really be dealing with people who have not that level of avoidable health issues.”

The Southwark mum claims that schemes targeting the most polluting diesel vehicles would go a long way to help lower the levels of toxic air that children are exposed to.

She said that emissions-based parking permits, such as those recently introduced by Hackney Council, were one example of a scheme that should be implemented more widely.

In Hackney, an annual estate parking permit for the most polluting diesel vehicle will cost £213 this year, but will increase to £1,249 by 2029-30.

Jemima also supports more school streets, in which traffic is restricted outside schools during school drop off and pick up times, to help reduce air pollution.

She pointed to “horrendous” TfL data that found that parents of pre-school and primary school aged children have the highest car driver trip rates.

Jemima added that parents need to "figure out" if they really want to be contributing to the pollution that their children breathe on a daily basis. 

She said: “Air pollution is a poison – we cannot go without breathing.

“We can go days without drinking, we can go weeks without eating but we can only go minutes without breathing.

“And if every breath we take has toxins in it then that is going to impact every cell of your body.”