City Of London Considers Banning Non-Electric Cars

Tue 21st Aug 2018

London’s financial district could become one of the first areas in the UK to ban non-electric vehicles in a bid to cut air pollution in the capital.

A special ‘low-emission’ street is under consideration in the City of London, in what would be a pilot scheme for an area of the UK which currently the venue of a number of nitrogen dioxide hotspots. The financial centre is the home to many tall buildings and narrow streets which makes air-pollution more likely and adds to the problems in a congested city.

Hackney council has already promised to ban cars which emit more than 75g/km of CO2, whilst London as a whole will become an Ultra Low Emission Zone in April 2019 when cars which don’t meet European emissions standards will be forced to pay an extra fee to enter the Congestion Charge zone.

Speaking to the Financial Times, City of London’s air quality manager, Ruth Calderwood said: “What we realise is the Ultra Low Emission Zone won’t be quite enough for us to meet the limit values, so we are going to have to look at additional measures at our busiest roadsides.”

Walbrook Wharf and Beech Steet are two of the areas of London which have had particularly high nitrogen oxide readings, but Calderwood admits the roads to pilot the trial have not been decided. She said: “Because we haven’t done that before, it would be a pilot trial on a small street to see how many vehicles will be able to comply with that.
“[We want] to make sure about the availability of vehicles: we don’t want to introduce something that’s going to be a problem.”