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London to establish UK’s first 24/7 zero emission street

Beech Street in Central London is largely enclosed and suffers from high pollution

Much of Beech Street runs under the Barbican estate. NurPhoto via Getty Images
Much of Beech Street runs under the Barbican estate. NurPhoto via Getty Images

A largely enclosed street in central London that is beset by high levels of air pollution is to become the UK’s first 24/7 zero emission road.

Beech Street, most of which runs under the large Barbican estate, will restrict access to zero emission vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians by Spring next year.

“These measures are another important step towards cleaner air in the City. Drastically reducing air pollution requires radical actions, and these plans will help us eliminate toxic air on our streets,” said Jeremy Simons of the City of London Corporation in a statement.

“Nobody should have to breathe in dirty air, and we will continue to take bold and ambitious steps to ensure that the health of Londoners is protected,” he added.

To be deemed zero-emission cars must emit a maximum 75 grams carbon dioxide a kilometre.

Exceptions for emergency vehicles and for rubbish collection and deliveries will be made.

Vehicles will be rerouted via an advance warning system and signs, with drivers who break the order fined.

“This is a groundbreaking scheme by the City of London Corporation. It will bring substantial health benefits to those who live and work in the Barbican area, and will also help reduce noise pollution,” said Oliver Sells of the streets and walkways committee.

“The experimental scheme will be enforced using the latest in smart camera technology and I hope it will be the first of many other schemes like this” he added.

The experimental traffic order is to run for 18 months and the impact on air quality will be monitored.

Barbican sits in the City of London, the site of the capital’s busy financial district.

Updated: December 17, 2019 06:46 PM

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