Islington council has called on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to ban diesel vehicles from operating in the city within the next decade, in a response to the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy.
The strategy, launched for consultation in July, promised massive support for low emission vehicles, aiming to make all taxis and private hire vehicles ‘zero emission capable’ by 2033 and buses by 2037 (see airqualitynews.com story).
The strategy also outlined the Mayor’s aim to see London’s transport become ‘zero emission’ by 2050, with a proposal to set up several city centre zero emission zones to be set up from 2025, followed by an inner London zero emission zone by 2040.
However, Islington council has called for the Mayor to go further in his ambition, demanding measures to increase the uptake of walking and cycling, electrification of all rail lines in the capital and a default speed limit of 20 miles-per-hour on all roads across London.
The council has claimed that some of these policies have been pioneered in Islington and should be taken forward across the city.
In addition Islington has claimed that the Mayor should seek to ban diesel vehicles from the city by the middle of the next decade.
Diesel vehicles are known to emit lower levels of CO2 than petrol vehicles, thus helping to reduce the impact of transport on climate change, and have therefore enjoyed favourable taxation rates compared to petrol cars.
However, diesel cars, in particular those built prior to 2009, also emit higher levels of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, which can worsen air quality and harm human health.
Councillor Claudia Webbe, the council’s executive member for environment & transport, said: “Islington has been at the forefront of pioneering many policies now being adopted across London, from 20mph speed limits to major transformations of road systems like the removal of Archway Gyratory.
“The Mayor’s strategy sets out a clear and positive plan for improving transport in London, as well as real action to tackle important issues like poor air quality. But we are calling for the Mayor to go further by backing our calls for diesel vehicles to be banned in London by 2025 and for more space for walking and cycling to be created.
“A key part of our efforts to make Islington a fairer place for all is to help people to lead healthier lives. We need a transport system that helps us to do that by encouraging walking and cycling, as well reducing poor air quality.â€?
The council has called for ‘major transformation schemes’ similar to its own Archway Gyratory removal, across the city to create more space for walking and cycling alongside improved public transport links.
Publication of Islington council’s response came shortly after the introduction of the T-Charge in central London, a £10 emissions surcharge for any pre-Euro IV diesel or petrol car operating in the centre of the city on weekdays (see airqualitynews.com story).
The Mayor of London has also outlined a long-term Environment Strategy, which was published in August, and outlines a range of measures to be implemented in the council to make London’s air quality ‘the cleanest of any world city by 2050’ (see airqualitynews.com story).