London City Corporation to launch capital’s first low-emission street

With the Mayor of London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme set to be rolled out across the capital next year, the City of London Corporation has unveiled plans to create what it claims is the city's first low-emission street.

The Corporation, which manages the First Mile commercial and financial district, will limit road access to the south section of Moor Lane, near Moorgate. During the three-month trial, diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 standards and most petrol vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standard will not be allowed to enter Moor Lane.

The scheme will then be extended to cover the street either 24 hours a day, or from 7am – 11pm on weekdays, subject to a public consultation. The trial is expected to be underway by April 2019, when the ULEZ will come into effect.

The City of London Corporation’s environment committee chairman Jeremy Simons said the move would form an “important step towards cleaner air” after London reached the legal toxic air limit for the whole of 2018 less than a month into the year. 

“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,” Simons said.

“This trial will deliver the results we need when considering radical targeted action to drastically reduce air pollution on our streets.”

The Corporation has confirmed that it will place street signs with details of the trial around Moor Lane one month before the trial begins. It will additionally launch a new communication scheme around the trial, distributing information via social media, leaflets and in-person meetings with local businesses.

Low-emission transition

The scheme for Moor Lane forms part of the Corporation’s Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) project, which it jointly funds with the Mayor of London.

Under the project, residents and businesses within the Barbican, Guildhall and St Bart’s areas have been encouraged to ditch petrol and diesel cars in favour of electric vehicles (EVs), walking and cycling since 2016. To spur the switch, 30 new EV chargers were installed by the Corporation and City Hall, along with a network of air quality sensors.

The LEN project has also seen the City of London Corporation launch a programme giving businesses operating within certain Congestion Charge zones access to cargo bikes to avoid extra costs. Run in partnership with zero-emission delivery operators Zedify, the scheme aims to replace deliveries from diesel and petrol vans with those made by electric-asset bikes and trikes.

Elsewhere, the Corporation recently launched what it claims is the capital’s first “environmentally friendly” parking tariff, offering discounted parking rates for EV and hybrid drivers in a bid to incentivise sustainable travel.

Within its own operations, the firm has banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from its fleet of 300 vehicles as it seeks to invest in hybrid and fully-electric alternatives.

Sarah George

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