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Ultra Low Emission Streets: UK’s first scheme to ban dirtiest vehicles on way in Shoreditch and Old Street

PUBLISHED: 09:30 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:08 22 March 2018

The 'dirtiest' vehicles from two zones will be banned during peak hours. Picture: Hackney Council

The 'dirtiest' vehicles from two zones will be banned during peak hours. Picture: Hackney Council

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The UK’s first scheme banning the dirtiest vehicles from roads will be rolled out in July across areas of Shoreditch and Old Street.

The two zones in Shoreditch and Old Street will be the first in the country for the scheme. Picture: Hackney CouncilThe two zones in Shoreditch and Old Street will be the first in the country for the scheme. Picture: Hackney Council

The Ultra Low Emission Streets project has been signed off by Hackney and Islington councils. It will stop petrol, diesel and older hybrid vehicles from entering a nine-street radius during the morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.

Aside from pedestrians and push bicycles, only electric cars, e-bikes, new hybrids and hydrogen vehicles will be allowed to pass through. But anyone who actually works or lives within the area will also still be able to use their cars.

The scheme was supported by 70 per cent of people living within 10km of the zone when it was proposed, and 56pc of all people who responded to a recent consultation were in favour.

Hackney’s transport chief Cllr Feryal Demirci said: “The streets around Shoreditch suffer from some of the worst air quality in London – ultra-low emission streets will have reduced levels of air and noise pollution, make it easier and safer to walk and cycle and improve the character of the area for all residents and businesses.”

She said banning the vehicles would reduce people’s exposure to dangerous fumes and make streets safer for people walking and cycling to and from work or school.

“Our ultimate goal is to reclaim the streets from polluting motor vehicles,” she added. “This ground-breaking scheme is the first step towards doing that.”

Cllr Demirci’s counterpart in Islington, Cllr Claudia Webbe, added: “Air pollution is a huge issue for Islington residents living, working and learning in the City Fringe, and we are proud to be leading from the front with Hackney in this pioneering scheme – the first of its kind in the UK.

“This is big news for students and staff at Central Foundation Boys School – the most polluted state secondary in London – and the positive public feedback shows we are right to keep pushing for new ways to improve air quality and prevent polluting vehicles from damaging people’s health. I look forward to the results.”

The scheme is part-funded through the Office For Low Emission Vehicles’ Neighbourhoods of the Future and forms part of the Mayor of London-funded Low Emission Neighbourhood.

The streets are, in Islington: Cowper Street, the west side of Singer Street and Tabernacle Street between Leonard Street and Cowper Street.

In Hackney they are: Rivington Street between Great Eastern Street and Curtain Road, Charlotte Road, Blackall Street, Wollow Street and Paul Street north of Leonard Street.

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