Three London boroughs have been awarded Â£766,000 in funding to accelerate a switch to cleaner vehicles in a bid to tackle air pollution in the capital.
The funding, which is being delivered by the Mayor of London, Transport for London and London Councils will deliver three â€˜Neighbourhoods of the Futureâ€™ projects in Camden, Hackney and Hammersmith & Fulham.
The Â£766,000 funding will be matched with around Â£875,000 from the London boroughs involved. The projects area a part of Londonâ€™s Â£13 million Go Ultra Low Cities Scheme, which has been delivered through central government funding, and aims to speed up the adoption of electric cars and vans.
According to TfL, the winning Neighbourhoods of the Future bids, which will give local communities the infrastructure they need to embrace less polluting forms of transport.
In Camden, funding will be used to develop a School Low Emission Neighbourhood in the Frognal and Fitzjohns area.
This will see 8,500 pupils at 23 schools benefit from streets in the vicinity being restricted to electric and local access only, electric vehicle charging points in school car parks and points to power up at lamp posts close to home.
Hackney council will use the funding to help deliver electrified market streets that will â€œhelp businesses and customers make the transition to cleaner vehicles.â€
This will include charging points on three market streets in the borough, which will be built into existing features such as bollards and posts, while remaining sensitive to the look-and-feel of the area.
Hammersmith & Fulhamâ€™s bid involved establishing a Hammersmith Town Centre Low Emission Zone, which prioritises the use of the cleanest vehicles. This will be complimented with the installation of an electric taxi rank; a last-mile courier hub; and communication support.
The London boroughs of Barnet and Redbridge have also confirmed their future involvement in the ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ programme, and will be developing projects for funding.
Commenting the projects, and wider work being done in London to tackle air pollution, Shirley Rodrigues, the Deputy Mayor of Environment & Energy said: â€œTo get to grips with London’s toxic air health crisis the Mayor has significantly increased air quality funding and these new local schemes will help accelerate the switch to cleaner vehicles around town centres, schools and high streets to help dramatically reduce toxic pollution emissions.
â€œThe Mayor is introducing hard-hitting measures to tackle London’s filthy air. He has already brought in a ‘toxicity’ charge (T-Charge) for older cars in central London, and is upgrading London’s buses into one of the greenest fleets in the world.
â€œHowever he cannot do this alone and the Government needs to urgently face its responsibility and implement a national diesel scrappage fund to take the most polluting vehicles off our roads now.â€
Neighbourhoods of the Future projects have previously funded in six areas, following winning bids by Heathrow, Hackney, Islington & Tower Hamlets, Harrow, Harringey, Croydon & Sutton and Hammersmith & Fulham.
Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said: â€œIf we are to bring London’s air quality within legal limits it will require us, local authorities and Government to work closely together.
â€œThe Neighbourhoods of the Future are a fantastic example of how partnership working can lead to innovative projects that make a real difference to Londoners’ lives.â€
Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme Steering Group and London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee Chair, said: â€œLondon boroughs are playing their part in the fight to clean up London’s dirty air and making it easier for residents and businesses to use electric vehicles is one important part of this.
â€œIt is great news that three more innovative projects led by London boroughs have been championed by Neighbourhoods of the Future, which will enable them to invest in schemes to encourage use of electric vehicles locally.
â€œThese will join the six projects already testing new ways of encouraging drivers to open their eyes to the benefits of electric vehicles.â€