Westminster Cycling Campaign News - May 2016

Westminster bids for Low Emission Neighbourhood

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Westminster City Council is bidding to be one of two boroughs to receive £1m of funding from the Greater London Authority and Transport for London. This funding is to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood, to include behaviour change and green initiatives to help improve air quality.

Marylebone High Street
Marylebone High Street

Westminster’s bid focuses on Marylebone and one of the ideas is to use part of the funding to pay for four more marshals to approach drivers and ask them to turn off their engines and to pass on the positive air quality message within the community. This scheme will start with two parking marshals this month, but if the Low Emission Neighbourhood bid is successful there will be at least six dedicated marshals working across the borough within a few months, with four specifically in Marylebone. To avoid adding to the pollution problem, the marshals will move around Westminster on electric mopeds or bicycles.

Also part of the bid is the creation of more green space, tree planting, new electrical vehicle charging points and a number of other innovations. There are also plans for a residential parking bay trial where a number of spaces will be made available to electric cars only.

Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: "We are today submitting a bid to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood in Marylebone, as part of our commitment to tackling poor air quality and delivering a greener city."

Colin Wing, chairman of Westminster Cycling Campaign, said: "The local environment in Marylebone High Street and other streets in Marylebone is currently degraded by excessive volumes of motor traffic. Switching off engines and using electric vehicles could certainly help to reduce noise and local air pollution. But air pollution and CO2 could still be produced in manufacturing vehicles and in generating electricity. And the proposals do not address such problems as congestion and collisions with vulnerable road users.

"When the Mayor of London launched the concept of Low Emission Neighbourhoods, he suggested measures to encourage more walking and cycling, reducing through vehicle traffic, reducing the impact of freight and servicing, and using smarter parking charging. It would be good to see some of these included in the Marylebone scheme."

Westminster's press release

The Mayor of London's press release