Residents in the Royal borough of Greenwich are being offered incentives including shopping vouchers or charity donations to switch from using cars to walking or cycling.
The initiative, which was launched last week (3 August) as part of the Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) project, is part of one of five London-wide projects to have been financed via a £5 million pot of funding from the Mayor of London and Transport for London (see airqualitynews.com story).
The year-long rewards scheme will encourage people to think about the way they travel around Greenwich and the impact that has on air quality in the town, and to change the way they think about their own transport uses, the borough has said.
It will involve using the ‘BetterPoints’ smartphone app to track their walking and cycling in the Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood.
The app lets people earn points they can cash in for vouchers for high-street shops or donate to charity.
Councillor Danny Thorpe, cabinet member for regeneration and sustainability in Greenwich, said: “Working with residents to deliver a greener and cleaner borough is at the heart of our vision for improving air quality in the borough. Tackling air pollution is a huge and complex one and the challenges of reducing emissions and combating the causes of climate change is not one we can do alone. The LEN project is helping us to the test out a host of ideas designed to help improve air quality in west Greenwich and the Peninsula.
“Our aim is to improve air quality across the whole of Royal Greenwich and these projects will help us gauge how best we can engage with residents and look at what else we can introduce across the whole borough. It was really gratifying to meet local residents today who are already enthusiastic about adopting new ways of travelling.â€?
Resident Barbara Charles, who lives on the Meridian Estate in west Greenwich, joined Councillor Thorpe for the launch of the scheme last week. She said: “It’s great to be working with the Council to try to combat air quality at a local level. The project should raise awareness of the issue of air pollution and that everyone can do their own bit to help. I’m hoping CACT will put on a walking bus to the Valley, although I shouldn’t say that, seeing as I’m a Tottenham supporter!â€?
Greenwich produce a four year air quality strategy earlier this year which detailed a series of measures aimed at reducing air pollution in the borough (see airqualitynews.com story).
Policies included within the strategy include the continued expansion of electric vehicle charging points across the borough further to the 25 points already installed.
The borough will also be trialling a ‘ground-breaking’ fully electric refuse vehicle by December 2017 as well as continuing to run ‘car-free’ days in Greenwich town centre.
Greenwich has also committed to installing 11 additional air quality monitoring stations – which it claims will give it more monitoring sites than any other borough in the capital.