London to introduce ULEV-only zone as it tackles high air pollution

01 November 2018

1 November 2018

The City of London has designated a test area for a new pilot scheme that could see polluting vehicles banned from certain areas of the UK capital.

The trial, which is out for public consultation, will create the City of London’s first low emission street. The pilot is part of the City Corporation’s Low Emission Neighbourhood project, which it jointly funds with the Mayor of London. 

A section of Moor Lane, near Moorgate, would be restricted to only ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). Although non-compliant vehicles will be able to enter from the north end of the street, the southern end will be accessible only to vehicles that meet the guidelines.

The City Corporation is encouraging the uptake of fully electric and compliant hybrid vehicles to improve air quality in the Square Mile. It will use the pilot to consider whether similar measures are suitable for other streets in the City of London. Following the consultation, the City Corporation aims to deliver the trial by April 2019.

Two options for a ULEV pilot in the southern end of Moor Lane have been developed for consultation. Option one would introduce the measures 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Option two would apply Monday to Friday from 7am-11pm. 

Jeremy Simons, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: ′This trial is an important step towards cleaner air. We are determined to see a major improvement in the City’s air quality. It will deliver the results we need when considering radical targeted action to drastically reduce air pollution on our streets.

′Nobody should have to breathe in dirty air, and we will continue to take bold and ambitious steps to ensure that the health of Londoners is protected.’ 

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for the Environment and Energy, added: ′We are funding innovative projects like this because they are vital to encourage more Londoners to switch to ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles and help tackle the capital’s toxic air. Local projects such as Low Emission Neighbourhoods are a crucial addition to the Mayor’s London-wide plans to tackle pollution; these include introducing the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and upgrading London’s buses into one of the greenest fleets in the world.’

The Moor Lane ULEV street proposal is just one part of the City Corporation’s fightback against air pollution. 

The City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has backed proposals to turn parts of the Square Mile into zero-emissions zones by 2022 and cut the speed limit to 15mph as part of its new Transport Strategy. 

It has already banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from its fleet of 300 vehicles, where there is a clean market alternative, as well as introducing fines on drivers who leave their engines idling.

The move is similar to those seen in German cities, where authorities are looking to ban diesel vehicles from streets within their areas. Hamburg has already introduced measures on certain streets, while Frankfurt and Stuttgart are to bring bans in during 2019.