London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced a £5.3 million funding initiative to aid boroughs in their efforts to reduce air pollution and enhance air quality across the city. The funding, available through the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, will support innovative projects aimed at improving public health and making London a cleaner and healthier place for all residents.
The Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, totalling £27 million, has been matched by more than £20 million in contributions from boroughs and their partners. This funding has already yielded impressive results, including the introduction of 25 new clean air routes in some of the city’s busiest and most polluted areas, reducing pedestrians’ exposure to pollution by up to 60%.
With support from the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL), boroughs have achieved various milestones, such as the installation and upgrade of over 400 electric vehicle chargers, assisting 5,300 businesses in reducing emissions, creating 3,000 square meters of new green spaces, planting 250 trees, providing over 1,300 cycle parking spaces, repairing 750 bicycles, and supplying 17,000 pupils with resources to educate them about air quality.
The fourth round of funding aims to address harmful particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions, promote sustainable events, protect vulnerable individuals from pollution, especially in schools and hospitals, and enhance indoor air quality. The Mayor encourages boroughs to collaborate on joint projects, building upon the successes of previous city-wide initiatives aimed at reducing idling, construction machinery emissions, and the creation of green spaces.
Boroughs are invited to submit their applications by 5 p.m. on January 19, 2024, with projects expected to commence by April 2024.
Projects previously supported by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund have led to measurable improvements in air quality across London. For instance, the Camden Low Emission Neighbourhood achieved a 28% reduction in NOx emissions by installing electric vehicle charge points, improving pedestrian crossings, implementing cycle lanes, and introducing dockless cycle hire bays and cycle hangars.
This initiative complements other actions taken by the Mayor to combat air pollution, including the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in August 2023, which has led to a significant reduction in older, more polluting vehicles on London’s streets. Additionally, London is on its way to converting its entire bus fleet to zero emissions, making it a leader in addressing the issue of air pollution.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, emphasized his commitment to improving air quality, stating, “Air pollution in our city is damaging Londoners’ health, and I am determined to do all I can to tackle it.”
Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Policy, added, “London is leading the way globally in its drive to tackle pollution, paving the way for a more sustainable future and playing its part in addressing an international public health crisis.”