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Westminster seeks 1m low emission neighbourhood funding

City council is one of nine London boroghs vying for funding to raise awareness of and combat air pollution hotspots

Westminster city council is bidding for £1 million funding to create a ‘Low Emission Neighbourhood’ focused around Marylebone, the authority revealed yesterday (April 18).

Wesminster is bidding for funding to introduce a 'low emission neighbourhood' focused around Marylebone

Wesminster is bidding for funding to introduce a ‘low emission neighbourhood’ focused around Marylebone

Launched last summer, the competition is being run by the Greater London Authority and Transport for London and will see £1 million funding provided to two successful London borough applicants with the aim of raising awareness of air pollution hotspots in the UK capital (see AirQualityNews.com story).

Westminster is one of nine London boroughs vying to funding. Other bidders include the City of London coroporation, Barking and Dagenham, Hackney (with Islington and Tower Hamlets), Havering, Redbridge (with Newham), Greenwich, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Camden.

If Westminster’s bid is successful, it aims to use part of the funding to introduce four more marshals to approach drivers and ask them to turn off their engines when stationary.

Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster city council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said yesterday: “We are today submitting a bid to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone, as part of our commitment to tackling poor air quality and delivering a greener city.

“Measures include a new ‘air force’ of parking marshals to combat engine idling and raise awareness, incentives for switching to an electric vehicle and the creation of new green space.

“Our bid for a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone is a snapshot of our work to create a greener city and Westminster will continue to play a leading role in the struggle against poor air quality in London.â€?

“We are today submitting a bid to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone, as part of our commitment to tackling poor air quality and delivering a greener city” – Westminster councillor Heather Acton

Air marshals

The scheme will initially begin this month with two parking marshals, who will travel around Westminster on electric mopeds or bicycles.

If funding is secured, it is hoped that over the next few months there will be at least six marshals working across the borough, with four focused specifically in Marylebone.

The Low Emission Neighbourhood plan will include behaviour change and initiatives to improve air quality. As well as including the creation of more green space, tree planting and increased charging points for electric vehicles.

Future plans may see a residential parking bay trial with a number of spaces exclusively for electric cars – with the hope of encouraging residents to own electric cars and be assured that they can keep their battery charged.

In May last year, Westminster city council introduced new rules to stop engine idling, with marshals given the power to issue £20 fixed penalty notices (see AirQualityNews.com story).

Since the new rules, over 1,500 drivers have been approached but no fixed penalty notices have been issued, according to the council.

To combat air pollution, 109 ‘no engine idling’ signs have been installed in Westminster, and the council last month held ‘no idling’ days, on which volunteers spoke with drivers to raise awareness of the impact of engine idling on air quality.

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