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London Boroughs receive £5.3m funding to fight air pollution

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has dipped into his £27 million Air Quality Fund for the forth time and pulled out £5.3m – which is avalable to boroughs to support ambitious projects that reduce air pollution, and protect public health. Boroughs are invited to apply by 5pm on 19 January 2024, with the projects expected to start by April 2024.

The fund, which has been matched by more than £20m in funding and resources from the boroughs and their partners, has already helped boroughs to cut pollution by introducing 25 new clean air routes in some of London’s busiest and most polluted neighbourhoods—helping pedestrians reduce their exposure to pollution by up to 6o%.

people walking on black concrete road beside buildings under white sky during daytime

Projects supported by the first three funding rounds of the Air Quality Fund include the Camden Low Emission Neighbourhood which delivered an estimated 28% reduction in NOx emissions through interventions that included installing 19 electric vehicle charge points, improving pedestrian crossings, implementing three cycle lane schemes, and introducing dockless cycle hire bays and cycle hangars.

Other schemes have included timed road closures outside schools to improve safety and reduce students’ exposure to air pollution, and cargo bike loan and hire schemes to help businesses make the switch from polluting vehicles.

This fourth round of funding aims to help boroughs to take action to reduce PM2.5 emissions, run more sustainable events, deliver projects to protect the most vulnerable Londoners from pollution exposure in locations such as schools and hospitals, and improve indoor air quality.

The Mayor is encouraging boroughs to partner together to propose joint projects, building on the success of previous pan-London projects to tackle idling, reduce emissions from construction machinery, and create more green space.

Andrew Gordon, Project Manager at Cleaner Construction for London said: ‘Thanks to the support of the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, Cleaner Construction for London successfully reduced construction site equipment emissions by 48 per cent. This shows what can be achieved with an innovative approach, support from the Mayor of London, and strong collaboration with London boroughs and the industry. Our project is now expanding to tackle polluting equipment beyond construction sites, partnering with large event organisers, road work, and waste sites. We challenge cities in the UK and worldwide to follow London’s lead in promoting cleaner construction practices and improving air quality for all.’

Sadiq Khan, said: ‘Air pollution in our city is damaging Londoners’ health and I am determined to do all I can to tackle it. We’re looking for the next generation of ambitious, local, innovative projects to improve London’s air quality – so I encourage boroughs to get their thinking caps on, consider partnering up, and apply for this financial support by 19 January 2024.’

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