Local campaigns to encourage active travel is the best way to reduce air pollution, according to a report published by the Environmental Defence Fund Europe (EDF).
The past decade has seen a steady decrease in new car registrations in Inner London, whereas Outer London boroughs continue to have high levels of car ownership – this is largely due to the lack of public transport links.
The authors of the report called the Cleaner Car Index have revealed that an estimated three million trips made by private cars in Outer London could have been feasibly made by walking, cycling or by using public transport.
The number of trips made by private cars also may increase as more people opt to avoid public transport as lockdown is eased.
The researchers have said that targeted action in each London borough is key to reducing the number of car journeys and consequently helping to improve air quality across the capital.
Oliver Lord, head of policy and campaigns at Environmental Defense Fund Europe, said: ‘We have to ensure that the chance to go green is accessible to everyone, with targeted action. Our analysis shows that with the right nudges and funding, councils can support residents to cut car trips, ditch diesel and save lives.’
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, commented on this report: ‘Islington Council is determined to create a cleaner, greener future for local people.
‘Reducing vehicle emissions is essential to tackling the climate emergency and cleaning the air that local people breathe, which is why the council has so far implemented a total of 29 School Streets, introduced more electric vehicle charging stations, and joined a London-wide campaign encouraging businesses to tackle the pollution caused by idling engines.
‘We know that the majority of Islington’s residents do not own a car, which is part of the reason why we are continuing to create people-friendly streets, which make walking and cycling easier, safer and more accessible for all. By making travel easier for those without a car, and by reducing any unnecessary journeys from those that do, we can create a greener Islington.’
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