London street set to become first zero-emission zone

The scheme will limit access to certain areas according to vehicle emission rates.

By Felix Page, Autocar UK calendar 01 Nov 2018 Views icon5160 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The City of London has designated a potential test area for a pilot scheme that will lead to polluting vehicles facing bans from certain areas in the capital. 

A section of Moor Lane, near Moorgate, could soon be open only to the least-polluting vehicles. 

The measure is part of The City of London Corporation’s Low Emission Neighbourhood project. 

Although non-compliant vehicles will still be able to enter from the north end of Moor Lane, the south access point will remain closed to all but Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs). 

The City Corporation hopes to ascertain whether or not such a scheme would suit other areas across London. It is planned that by allowing only the cleanest cars and commercial vehicles to enter the street, the scheme will lead to an improvement in air quality throughout the Square Mile. 

The City has yet to decide whether the restrictions will be made permanent or enforced from 0700-2300hrs, Monday to Friday. The trial is planned to begin by April 2019. 

Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for the environment and energy, said that such measures are “vital to encourage more Londoners to switch to ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles and help tackle the capital’s toxic air”. 

Clear street signage, alongside a social and print media campaign, will promote awareness of the planned restrictions, and familiarise drivers with the types of vehicles that will be affected. 

During the first month of the scheme, drivers of non-compliant vehicles in the area will be issued with a written warning, before Penalty Charge Notices come into effect. Funds generated in this manner would be reserved for use by highways maintenance divisions. 

Proposals backed by the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee include the introduction of 15mph speed limits, with the aim of making parts of the Square Mile emissions-free as early as 2022. 

The announcement follows the Corporation’s banning of diesel vehicles in its own fleet and a city-wide clampdown on drivers leaving engines idling unnecessarily. 

Driving within the Square Mile has already been affected by similar regulations, with high polluting vehicles subjected to higher parking rates, and cleaner vehicles eligible for discounted prices. 

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