The ‘UK’s first ultra-low emission streets’ have become operational in Shoreditch, as part of a ‘pioneering’ new scheme to reduce pollution in the area.
Under the scheme, which came into force on 3 September, petrol, diesel and older hybrid vehicles that emit more than 75g/km of CO2 are no longer allowed to enter nine streets during the peak commuter periods of 7-10am and 4-7pm, Monday to Friday.
Ultra low emission vehicles including electric cars, e-bikes, the newest hybrids and hydrogen vehicles, as well as pedestrians and cyclists, are permitted – and residents and businesses on the streets affected are also still be able to use their vehicles even if they emit more CO2 than is permitted.
The restrictions are split into Zone 1 and Zone 2 (pictured below) and cover Rivington Street, Charlotte Road, Cowper Street, Singer Street, Tabernacle Street, Paul Street, Ravey Street, Willow Street and Blackall Street.
The ultra low emissions streets are being introduced by Hackney and Islington Councils, with funding from the mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund, and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Go Ultra Low City Scheme.
Cllr Feryal Demirci, deputy mayor of Hackney Council, said: “Failing to act on poor air quality, which causes nearly 10,000 premature deaths across London every year, is not an option, and that’s why we’re being bolder than ever in our efforts to tackle it.
“We’re thrilled to be launching our ultra low emissions streets – the first of their kind in the UK – which will reclaim the streets from polluting petrol and diesel vehicles, and improve the area for thousands of people every day.”
In August, the City of London Corporation announced it was drawing up plans for a pilot scheme that would allow only electric cars and plug-in hybrids on a prominent road within the Square Mile.
The first part of London’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) will become operational in April 2019, while the second comes into effect in October 2021 and covers Greater London up to the North Circular and South Circular roads.