Climate Action

UK’s first zero-emissions street to be trialled in London

The City of London Corporation (CLC) has announced that the capital will get its first zero-emissions street.

  • 17 December 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

The City of London Corporation (CLC) has announced that the capital will get its first zero-emissions street.

Beech Street, much of which runs under the Barbican Estate, will now be restricted to zero emission vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians by Spring 2020. This new initiative is subject to final approval by Transport for London (TfL).

Emergency vehicles will be exempt from the restriction and there will be access to the car parks off Beech Street and for refuse collection and deliveries. Bus route 153, which is fully electric and runs down Beech Street, will also be unaffected by the changes.

The experiment will run for a maximum of 18 months, during which time the impact on air quality and traffic will be monitored.

Oliver Sells QC, Streets and Walkways Sub (Planning and Transportation) Committee Chairman, said: “This is a ground-breaking 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. 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.”

Beech Street experiences high levels of air pollution, the trial is expected to improve air quality, resulting in health benefits for the many pedestrians and cyclists that use the street.

The City Corporation also hopes to improve air quality around the entrances to Richard Cloudesley School and Prior Weston Primary School.

The trial will be used to consider whether similar measures are suitable for other streets in the City of London.

Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, said: “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. 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.”

This is not the first time that the CLC has put in measures to tackle the climate emergency. The City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has backed proposals to turn parts of the Square Mile into zero-emissions zones by 2022 and cut the speed limit to 15mph as part of its new Transport Strategy.