16 February 2016

London Mayor unveils new £5m air quality projects

London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a range of new air quality projects on Thursday that will receive £5 million in funding.

One of the new initiatives will encourage motorists to switch off their vehicle engines when queuing at Tower Bridge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Signs will flash when the bridge is raised urging drivers to “turn your engine off” for “cleaner air” and to “save money and fuel”.

The iconic bridge is raised approximately 900 times a year, and thousands of vehicles cross every day.

The initiative is part of a scheme by Southwark and Tower Hamlets councils’ which is supported by the Mayor’s £20 million Air Quality Fund.

Mr Johnson announced the latest suite of projects that will receive £5 million from the fund including an electric vehicle charging project to install EV charging points to hundreds of lamp posts in Hounslow, West London.

The Mayor confirmed that a ‘dust police’ project will also be supported that will see enforcement officers check construction companies are abiding by City Hall’s emission standards to improve air quality

An eco-friendly courier service in Waltham Forest, using cargo bikes and electric vehicles for local shoppers will receive funding, as well as a community “No to NO2” project in Haringey for school walking zones and cycle maintenance workshops

The funding will also go towards a larger London Boroughs Consolidation Centre to reduce town hall and local business deliveries.

Boris Johnson said: “Protecting the well-being of Londoners is vital and these great projects, coupled with my plans for the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, are part of the  bold measures we need, along with the strong support of the Government and the EU, to win London’s pollution battle.”

Mr Johnson also unveiled plans to award £1 million to two “Low Emission Neighbourhoods”, and nine boroughs have already submitted plans to participate with cycling, walking and air quality improvement schemes.

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