New Ultra Low Emission Neighbourhoods In Force In East London
The scheme aims to improve air quality in zoned areas of the city (2022 update)
In September 2018, the UK’s first ‘Electric Streets’ came into operation throughout parts of East London. The ground-breaking scheme placed a ban on all petrol and diesel cars within nine designated roads around Shoreditch and Old Street - known as the City Fringe.
The designated Low Emission Neighbourhoods (LEN) are designed to improve air quality for people living, working and visiting those areas. The overall aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities, not just to help reduce emissions in the air, but also to reduce noise pollution caused by vehicles too.
These zones are also referred to as ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicles) streets, so during peak hours, roads are restricted to pedestrians, cyclists and low emission vehicles only. LEV and LEN streets are only accessible to vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 during peak hours. Typically, peak hours are determined as 7 am-10 am and 4 pm-7 pm Monday to Friday.
What is a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN)?
Transport for London (TfL) partnered with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to improve air quality in London Boroughs, which are greatly affected by vehicle noise and pollution. Through the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund (MAQF), £20 million in funding has been allocated to various projects which support the scheme.
The LEN scheme is working alongside two other similar initiatives to increase its rollout and support local infrastructure, including the Healthy Streets Approach, and the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
Together they are ensuring people living in LEN areas will benefit from a reduction in traffic - not just to benefit from cleaner air - but to enable them to travel around their communities on foot or by bike safely.
LENs are policed through smart technology - such as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras, placed around the controlled areas.
Where are the Low Emission Neighbourhoods (LEN) in London?
Originally, the LEN scheme was introduced to the Shoreditch district in East London and included the following roads: Old Street, Blackall Street, Cowper Street, Paul Street, Tabernacle Street, Ravey Street, Singer Street, Willow Street, Charlotte Road and Rivington Street.
The success of the scheme has seen LEN increase its presence to other areas in the city, including Barbican, Greenwich West and Peninsula wards, Marylebone Westminster, and Ilford Garden Junction.
Future LEN zones are being rolled out across the city and have been confirmed to include: Hackney, Camden, Barking and Dagenham, and Southwark.
What does it mean for vehicles travelling in a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN)?
There are a number of restrictions drivers will face when entering a LEN zone. Some of these include Car-free days, no idling zones, coordinated deliveries, and entry to electric vehicles only. Each LEN area has its own dedicated signage to make motorists aware of the zone.
It’s worth noting that non-compliant vehicles entering LEN zones within the restricted times can receive a fine of up to £100 per day.
Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) vehicles at Loads of Vans
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