London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced a five-fold increase in the amount of money City Hall will spend on tackling air quality hot spots.
His predecessor, Boris Johnson, had announced a £2m budget to fund two ‘Low Emissions Neighbourhoods’ which would see drivers of the most polluting vehicles become liable for “strict new penalties”, as well as the introduction of car-free days, green taxi ranks for zero emission-capable cabs and parking spaces reserved for the cleanest vehicles.
Mr Khan has now boosted the funding to £11m, including £5m from Transport for London, and confirmed that five of the Neighbourhoods, covering eight London boroughs, will now be introduced.
Announcing the extra funds, Mayor Khan, said: “The previous Mayor committed to funding two local projects, but I don’t think this goes far enough.
“So I’m delighted to announce that we will now be funding five key areas across London – helping to tackle air pollution and transforming neighbourhoods.
“The action we are taking in the capital is vital, but it’s imperative that our ambition is matched by Ministers.
“That’s why I’m also calling on Government Ministers to put in place incentives for people to switch to low-emission vehicles, as well as providing London with additional powers and funding to help tackle this public health crisis.”
The Mayor’s announcement has been welcomed by ClientEarth.
Spokesperson Simon Alcock said: “This will help tackle London’s public health crisis caused by air pollution but also needs to be combined with bold policies such as a bigger and better Ultra Low Emission Zone as proposed by the Mayor last month.
“The government need to stop dragging their feet too. We need a new Clean Air Act that is bold and ambitious so everyone can breathe cleaner air”.
The Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood is a partnership between the council and local stakeholders including residents associations and business improvement districts. Proposals includes better management of taxi ranks, improving building emissions and an electric vehicle delivery scheme in conjunction with UPS consolidating freight delivery to cut down on vehicles on the road.
Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets
The City Fringe Low Emissions Neighbourhood proposal includes tree planting, an emphasis on walking and cycling with improved pavements and cycle routes, and parking spaces for the sole use of the cleanest vehicles.
City of London
The Barbican Low Emission Neighbourhood proposal includes no-idling zones where stationary vehicles must turn off their engines, restricted access to certain streets for all but the cleanest vehicles and green taxi ranks.
The Town Centre and Trafalgar Road Low Emissions Neighbourhood proposal includes a series of car-free days in the town centre, an incentive scheme to encourage walking and cycling and an extensive series of mini parks throughout the area.
Redbridge and Newham
The Ilford Garden Junction Low Emission Neighbourhood proposal includes a green barrier between the road and pavement to reduce pedestrians’ exposure to fumes, plus other road restrictions.