City of London to trial emission-based car ban

Scheme will ban cars emitting over 75g/km of CO2 from section of road; pilot could expand to other roads

The City of London is to introduce a ban on all but the least polluting cars on a street in the Square Mile.

The Moor Lane Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Pilot will ban cars that emit 75g/km of CO2 and over, effectively meaning only fully electric cars (EVs) and some plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will be allowed to enter the south side of the street in question. 

And while the area affected by the pilot is tiny, and all vehicles will be allowed to acces the top of Moor Lane from the northern end, council bosses “will use the pilot to consider whether similar measures are suitable for other streets”.

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The pilot project will begin by April 2019 and run for 12 months. The City has put out a public consultation on the issue, asking if the zone should operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week, or 7am to 11pm Monday to Friday.

The City’s proposals follow similar plans from Hackney and Islington councils, and form part of a series of regulations inhibiting car use in the capital, evidenced first by the Congestion Charge, then by the T-Charge and, from next year, the ULEZ. 

City of London outlines air quality, road safety and congestion strategy

The City of London’s governing body previously outlined an extreme plan for tackling air quality, road safety and congestion within the Square Mile, involving the implementation of a large-scale Zero Emission Zone, a city-wide 15mph speed limit and pedestrian priority areas.

Entitled the Transport Strategy, it’s intended as an investment in the City’s transport for the next 25 years.

Changes to planning, infrastructure and safety will be made to prioritise the needs of pedestrians, while also seeking to minimise any impact on essential traffic.

The City of London Corporation says it intends to “champion the next generation” of congestion charging, with the goal of reducing overall motor traffic by 25 per cent before 2030 and by 50 per cent before 2044.

A so-called “street hierarchy” will be put in place to direct vehicles away from pedestrian priority areas when they do not have a final destination within the City.

Legislators want the City to incorporate the first large-scale Zero Emission Zone, with smaller localised versions set up in areas such as the Eastern City Cluster, Barbican and Golden Lane in the meantime.

In terms of road safety, the Corporation cites a significant reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured while cycling following the implementation of a blanket 20mph speed limit as good reason to reduce this further to 15mph, subject to approval from the Department of Transport.

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Finally, the Corporation points out delivery vehicles make up a quarter of traffic on the City’s streets, rising to a third during the morning peak. It plans to reduce this by 50 per cent before 2030 with the introduction of off-site consolidation, as well as timed access and loading restrictions for freight vehicles.

The draft strategy will be presented to the Planning and Transportation Committee for consideration on October 30. If approved, consultation on both it and the draft delivery plan – which outlines how the Corporation will phase in short-term deliverables over the next three years – will begin in November. The final strategy will be submitted to the Corporation’s decision-making bodies in Spring 2019.

Chris Hayward, chairman of planning and transportation at the City of London Corporation, commented: “The Square Mile is a unique place to travel. Therefore, radical proposals are required to future-proof this growing business and cultural centre.

“We know the way the vast majority of people get into the City is different to elsewhere across the world, with 93 per cent of commuters arriving here by public transport, walking or cycling.

“Nine out of 10 of collisions that result in someone being killed or seriously injured involve a motor vehicle, so we need bold proposals to make our streets safer.”

Now read about the London T-charge, which was introduced in 2017…

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