Wednesday, February 24News For London

London Mayor launches “no idling” scheme to boost air quality

Drivers using Tower Bridge must ‘stop idling’ and turn off their engines whilst the bridge is opening, the Boris Johnson has announced.

From Thursday new road signs are being put in place as a simple approach to help inform drivers that there will be a long wait, saving them fuel and lowering emissions, according to the Mayor of London website.

Credit: Pawandeep Dosanjh

Tower Bridge is raised roughly 900 times a year, which affects the 31,000 vehicles that use the bridge to cross the river daily.

The scheme, which is jointly funded by the Mayor and part of the Mayor’s £20 Million Air Quality Fund (MAQF), has been delivered by Southwark and Tower Hamlets as a way to tackle air pollution. The fund was set up in 2013, to support boroughs improve air quality and reduce pollution for 10 years.

Southwark Council will be measuring the impact of the Tower Bridge project, having installed an air pollution monitoring station.

Southwark Cabinet member for parks, public health and leisure, Councillor Barrie Hargrove said, “I hope this scheme raises awareness about the damaging affects of idling with your engine on and encourages drivers across the capital to think carefully about ways they could help reduce air pollution.”

The Mayor also announced projects taking place across 28 boroughs which will be subsidized by £5 million from MAQF. Plans to install electric vehicle charging points on lamp posts in Hounslow, green courier services in Waltham Forest and dust enforcement officers on building sites are some of the projects that will benefit from the fund.

Boris Johnson said, “Protecting the well-being of Londoners is vital and these great projects, coupled with my plans for the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, are part of the bold measures we need.”

Sub-edited by Shirly Bumaguin