London Plans Low Emissions Zone; Too Little, Too Late?

With its congestion pricing scheme, London took drastic steps to reduce the number of vehicles entering the city. With a new plan announced by Mayor Boris Johnson, the city is moving to limit the impact of those vehicles on the environment.
February 15, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Green groups have welcomed plans by the mayor of London to create an ultra low emissions zone in the centre of the capital, arguing the move would cut pollution and help the UK avoid hefty fines from the EU for failing to meet air quality standards," reports Jessica Shankleman. "Boris Johnson, who has in the past faced concerted criticism over his air quality efforts, confirmed today that Transport for London (TfL) will consult on plans to ensure that from 2020 all vehicles driving in the centre of London during peak times meet zero or low emission standards."

Apparently, not all green groups are happy with the plan though. "The news received a mixed response from air quality campaigners, who welcomed the move, but also called for the restrictions to be introduced much sooner," says Shankleman.

"Simon Birkett, founder and director of the campaign Clean Air in London, urged the Mayor to introduce the plans in 2015, rather than 2020. 'We have been calling for one or more inner low emissions zones for five years, so a plan to implement it in seven years' time is too late,' he told BusinessGreen. 'He's coming up with a wish list for other people to do, or for the next mayor.'"

Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesman, was even less pleased. "For the thousands of Londoners that are condemned to a premature death due to the capital's serious air pollution the Mayor's proposals are sadly too little, and far too late."

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Published on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 in Business Green
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