London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £2.5 million funding for electric vehicles in city designed to help improve its air quality.
It comes just hours after Khan (pictured) issued a toxic air alert for London after “very high” pollution levels. This is the first time the highest level alert has been declared after the introduction of new measures to monitor air pollution.
The mayor’s office has collaborated with Transport for London, Heathrow Airport and nine London boroughs to launch six individual schemes, each intended to tackle what the mayor has labelled an “air quality emergency”.
The six schemes are dubbed ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, intended to remove barriers preventing people and businesses from investing in electric vehicles.
Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, said the schemes announced last week would play a “direct role” in cleaning London’s air and could pave the way for similar initiatives to follow.
“It’s only by working closely with councils, businesses and local communities across London that we can fulfil our ambition of being a world leader in tackling the air pollution crisis,” she said.
Transport minister John Hayes also spoke today of the need to boost the take-up of ULEVs, adding that the government was “determined” to do so in order to boost quality of life.
The initiatives announced include;
- Hammersmith and Fulham will establish a zero emission zone in Hammersmith town centre, complete with standard and rapid EV charge points.
- Heathrow Airport will trial a hydrogen-diesel powered van at its delivery consolidation centre to reduce emissions.
- Electric streets will be created in Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets to help increase the concentration of EV charge points and EV-only parking bays.
- Local businesses in Harrow will trial the use of EV fleets.
- Clean energy charging schemes, including a rapid charging taxi rank and behavioural change initiatives for businesses, will be launched in Haringey.
- Electric vans and trucks will be loaned to businesses in the Beddington Industrial Area in Croydon and Sutton.
The initiatives fall under the mayor’s wider pledge to invest some £875 million over five years to improve London’s air quality.
The capital breached its annual air pollution limit just five days into 2017, with roads in Brixton, Putney, Oxford Street and Chelsea known to be hotspots for toxic NO2.