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London plans zero-emission road trial
EV-only pilot trial for London street points to zero-emission future
1 Nov 2018
THE City of London has announced a trial ban on polluting vehicles from one of its inner-city streets from April next year, with a view to expanding the ban to other areas of the British capital.
Applying to the south section of Moor Lane in London’s business district, the ban will permit access only to vehicles that emit no or extremely low levels of greenhouse emissions. The north end of Moor Lane will still be accessible to internal-combustion vehicles.
According to British publication Autocar, the City of London Corporation is using the trial to determine whether to expand the internal-combustion engine ban to other streets across the city.
While many cities in Europe have signalled their desire for emissions-free motoring by a certain date, the London trial is the first such plan to be put into action.
The council is still yet to determine if the ban will apply at all times or only during peak hours from 7am to 11pm.
The plan is to expand the number of emissions-free roads in the business district – also known as the Square Mile – by 2022, with a goal to reduce motor traffic in the area by a quarter by 2030 and by half by 2044, according to The Financial Times.
For the first month of the trial, drivers of pollutant vehicles that enter the area will be issued with a written warning. After that, fines will be issued.
City of London deputy mayor for the environment and energy Shirley Rodrigues said the trial aimed to help lower the city’s dangerous pollution levels.
“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,” she said.
According to The Financial Times, the City of London holds the dubious honour of having the highest pollution levels in all of London, exceeding critical levels of nitrogen dioxide 120 times in 2017 – far above the legal limit of 18 times a year.
The City of London has already implemented measures to cut emissions, including banning diesel vehicles in its fleets and fining drivers who leave engines idling unnecessarily.
Traffic numbers have fallen by 40 per cent between 1999 and 2017. Car traffic has fallen 60 per cent, but bike traffic has increased four-fold.
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