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ON THE ROAD NEWS

London’s electric streets

Oct 29, 2018
Nine East London streets have been closed to all petrol and diesel traffic during week-day peak hours in a new initiative by the Hackney and Islington Councils.

Sadiq KhanThe scheme bans all but electric, hydrogen and the latest hybrid vehicles with emission levels of below 75kg of CO2 from the designated streets from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm on weekdays – with a £130 fine for anyone who breaks the rules.  It is policed with automatic number plate recognition technology and partly funded by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s air quality fund and the government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme.

The intention is to reduce people’s exposure to dangerous fumes and make the streets safer for people to walk or cycle to work or school. The scheme does not apply to local residents and businesses.

Few people would argue that reducing pollution is a good thing, however this does seem to be a major step that will significantly affect commerce in the area.  It will also put significant pressure on people who cannot afford the latest vehicle technology.

The EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide is an annual average of 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air but this was breached at more than 50 monitoring sites in London last year.

The Road Haulage Association said that the move was alarming as the local authorities have drawn up their own emission standards rather than using the NOx levels applied in other CAZ/LEZ areas. The Association called it ‘the thin end of the wedge’ that is indicative of a worrying anti-vehicle, anti-trade mindset in local government that fails to understand the need for businesses to be able to move goods when customers need them.

The authorities have plans to impose similar restrictions in the capital in the future.

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