The City of London will introduce a Zero Emission Zone ‘within the next Mayoral term’ to ensure 90% of vehicles entering the Square Mile are zero-emission by 2030. The measure is part of the City’s draft transport strategy, which sets a target of reducing motorized traffic by 25% by 2030, and by 50% by 2044 and has been published last week.
The City of London zone will work through a combination of access restrictions and charging for non-zero emission capable vehicles. It will also become the first area in the UK to enforce a 15 mph speed limit for motorists, subject to government approval, which will come into force by the end of 2022. Officials believe the new speed limit will cut the number of vehicles on its streets which will improve local air quality whilst minimizing the risk of injury for pedestrians.
The strategy also proposes a Zero Emission Zone to cover the whole of central London, following smaller and more local zero-emission zones covering the City Cluster and Barbican and Golden Lane.
Short-term measures have already begun, including a trial of the ‘Lunchtime Streets’ program, which uses timed and temporary street closures to make the streets more attractive places to walk, cycle and spend time. In March 2019, while scheduled roadworks were in place, the traffic-free St Mary Axe street was transformed over a lunchtime period with food stalls and pop-up seating for people to enjoy their lunch in a safer, more pleasant environment. More Lunchtime Streets will be held during the summer. A Delivery Plan will be considered by the City Corporation’s Planning & Transportation Committee in Summer 2019.
Source: City of London