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New project will monitor pollution on the River Thames

A new project will monitor air and noise pollution on the River Thames. 

Road transport is the leading cause of pollution in London, this has led many businesses to look for alternatives to heavy-goods vehicle delivery, such as EVs’s, cargo bikes and now river transport. 

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust are conducting a river freight trial, transporting goods from Dartford, Kent along the river to the hospital in London Bridge. 

The River Thames is currently the busiest inland waterway in the United Kingdom, accounting for five million tonnes of freight.

This reduces an estimated 265,000 lorry movements a year off London’s roads, however, many inland vessels can be old and highly polluting and so pollution still needs to be managed. 

aerial photography of London skyline during daytime

EMSOL has therefore been selected by the Cross River Partnership to measure the impact of freight activity. This forms part of the Defra-funded Clean Air Villages Project. 

Monitoring by EMSOL will attribute pollution to specific vessels and therefore help to understand the real-world pollution impact of moving freight to inland waterways in London.

The EMSOL / Cross River Partnership project is an important opportunity to ensure that the transport of goods on inland waterways is done sustainably and with a low impact on local air quality and the local communities.

In related news, late last year funding became available to help commercial freight and passenger boat operators to retrofit their fleet in a bid to improve air quality along the Thames. 

The non-profit organisation, Cross River Partnership, has launched this second round of funding as part of the existing Clean Air Thames project, a three-year initiative funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund.

Photo by Benjamin Davies

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