From low emission neighbourhoods to the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, the capital is taking action on air pollution.

Mayor’s Air Quality Fund and Low Emission Neighbourhoods

Green wall at a school in Barking & Dagenham, funded by The Mayor's Air Quality Fund

The Mayor’s Air Quality Fund (MAQF), is currently supporting over 20 air quality projects delivered by boroughs. This includes a project which is adding electric vehicle charging points into lampposts in Hounslow, a London-wide anti-idling campaign led by the City of London, and a project delivering shopping by zero emission vehicles to encourage walking and cycling to local shops in Waltham Forest.

In addition to this, the Mayor is supporting five Low Emission Neighbourhoods with £1million each. A Low Emission Neighbourhood is a package of measures in a defined pollution hotspot area, to reduce emissions and encourage walking and cycling.

You can find details of the MAQF and LEN projects here.

Please note that these funding streams are only for London Local Authorities, and they are not currently open for applications.

Supporting schools

The Mayor’s Air Quality Fund has supported a number of schools projects which have provided green infrastructure and other improvements to reduce pollution in the school grounds. Through TfL he also delivers the successful TfL STARs accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils' wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality.

In January of this year the Mayor announced funding for 50 primary school air quality audits in eligible London boroughs. The audits will identify new hard-hitting measures to protect pupils from toxic air. The 50 primary schools will be located in areas exceeding legal limits of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), calculating average NO2 concentrations using the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI). The GLA and TfL are currently drafting the selection criteria to be used as guidance by the eligible boroughs, who will be able to select two schools from the shortlist, and the audits will commence later this year.

The Mayor has published the list of eligible boroughs and the shortlist of primary schools arrived at using the above methodology here.

London’s bus fleet

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan with a Hydrogen Bus

London has the largest electric bus fleet in Europe, which is increasing in size every year. The Mayor is also spending more than £300m to transform London’s bus fleet by retrofitting thousands of buses and committing to phase out pure diesel double deck buses from 2018. Twelve new Low Emission Bus Zones will be introduced in the capital, putting the greenest buses on the capital’s most polluted routes and all buses will meet the Euro VI standard by 2020.

London’s black cabs

As part of the Mayor’s Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan, he is committed to helping to phase out diesel taxis and establish the capital’s fleet as the greenest in the world. From 2018, no more new diesel taxis will be licensed in London, and all new taxis presented for licencing must be ‘zero emission capable’. The aim is to have 9,000 of these vehicles in London by 2020. Taxi drivers will be given a grant to reduce the cost premium of these vehicles, a new electric vehicle rapid charging network and funding to help remove the oldest taxis much sooner than planned.

Toxicity Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone

The Mayor of London has announced bold new air quality regulations, which are the most ambitious of any world city.

From October 2017, a £10 toxicity charge or T-Charge will apply to the oldest and most polluting vehicles in Central London. Drivers of vehicles that do not comply will be required to pay £21.50 in total during peak congestion. More information can be found here.

The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is proposed to start on April 2019 in central London – superseding the T-charge and creating stricter emissions standards for diesel vehicles, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Those that do not comply will face a daily charge of £12.50 for light vehicles and £100 for heavy vehicles. You can participate in the ULEZ consultation here until 25 June 2017.

The Mayor has also proposed to extend the ULEZ out to the North and South Circular shortly afterwards and London-wide for lorries, buses and coaches. These plans will be subject to a full public consultation later this year.

Boroughs

London’s boroughs are working hard to address air pollution. They are responsible for monitoring pollution, and they report on pollution levels annually through London’s Local Air Quality Management framework.

All London boroughs have declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and they all have Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs) which detail their proposed actions to reduce pollution. You can view your local authority’s AQAP and annual reports by visiting their website.

Monitoring and mapping

London boroughs manage one of the most extensive automatic air quality monitoring networks of any city in the world. These highly accurate monitoring stations monitor a combination of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter to a high degree of accuracy.

This network informs the Mayor’s detailed mapping and modelling of air quality. You can find detailed air quality modelling on the GLA’s Datastore, and further mapping and data from monitoring sites is also available at www.londonair.org.uk.