Some streets in London’s Square Mile could be open to only the cleanest vehicles, with the City of London Corporation examining options to trial ‘ULEV-only’ streets within the district.
The initiative would mirror a similar project due to commence in Hackney and Islington from next week dubbed ‘City Fringe Ultra Low Emissions Streets’.
City of London Corporation has confirmed that a feasibility study and traffic modelling work are currently taking place to gauge the potential impact of the scheme.
Any proposed restrictions would be introduced on some roads within the City of London Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) situated in the Barbican, Guildhall and St Bart’s area of the Square Mile.
The LEN is a three-year initiative supported by the Mayor of London and is one of five set up across eight boroughs in London. The aim of the LEN is to improve local air quality by introducing air quality improvement initiatives, reducing the amount of traffic and encouraging and supporting low and zero emission vehicles in the locality.
The pilot project to ban petrol, diesel and older hybrid cars from streets in two parts of Shoreditch and Bunhill in East London from September 3, will see two time-restricted pedestrian and cycle zones introduced, permitting access only to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) and permit holders during peak times.
These will be in operation during peak hours, and will limit access to those on foot, cycling and in low emissions vehicles only (vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2). Petrol, diesel and older hybrid vehicles will not be permitted on the streets during these hours.
Other initiatives being carried out in the Square Mile as part of the LEN project include support for a zero-emission cargo bike service in the Smithfield and Farringdon areas, run in partnership with logistics.
Plans for the LEN also include new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, green taxi ranks and planting and growing projects designed to improve air quality around Barbican and Golden Lane Estate areas.