A pilot project to ban petrol, diesel and older hybrid cars from streets in two parts of Shoreditch and Bunhill in East London, will be launched next month.
The City Fringe Ultra Low Emission Streets project is being led by Hackney and Islington councils and will see two time-restricted pedestrian and cycle zones introduced, permitting access only to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) and permit holders during peak times.
The scheme is scheduled to begin on September 3, having initially been slated for a July introduction, and will be in operation Monday to Friday, 7-10am and 4-7pm.
In a statement on its website, Hackney council said: “We are launching 2 [sic] zones in the City Fringe that, during peak hours, will be restricted to walking, cycling and low emissions vehicles only (vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2). Petrol, diesel and older hybrid vehicles will not be permitted on the streets during these hours.
“These zones, known as ultra-low emissions streets, or ULEV streets, will prioritise low pollution transport, reducing the harmful effects of pollution in the City Fringe during commuting hours, making it easier and safer to walk and cycle and improving the character of the area for residents and businesses.”
Access to the streets will be maintained outside peak hours, and on-street parking permit holders will automatically be given an exemption to the scheme.
However, all other unregistered and non-compliant vehicles accessing the zones during the operating hours will be automatically issued a penalty notice. The penalty for non-compliance is £65 if paid within two weeks and £130 within four weeks, the council has warned.
Outlining its reasoning for the scheme, Hackney council stated: “Delivery vehicles make up around 50% of the polluting traffic in the City Fringe area, a major factor in the development of ULEV streets, which will help to support the shift to low emissions delivery vehicles in the area.
“We recognise that our streets are not just places to park vehicles or drive, walk and cycle. They are also the places where we socialise, shop and live our lives. We are committed to making Hackney’s roads safer for everyone living, working and visiting the borough, creating an environment that will encourage more walking and cycling, improve air quality and reduce emissions.”
The scheme is being funded through the Mayor’s air quality fund (MAQF) and the Go-ultra Low City scheme (GULCS).
A consultation on the measures was carried out in January, with around 56% of respondents backing the measures, compared to 40% who were against the scheme.