Delivering a Low Emission Neighbourhood: Electric Vehicle Only Streets
Matt Croucher, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
The paper describes the design process for a Low Emission Neighbourhood Masterplan in Shoreditch, and then the process of implementing these innovative concepts in the real world in the City of London, including an electric vehicle only street.
London has some of the worst air pollution in Western Europe and the European Commission has begun proceedings against the UK government for not meeting the standards in terms of NO2 and NOx emissions. In response Transport for London is promoting the introduction of innovative new ‘Low Emissions Neighbourhoods’ in 5 locations across the Capital, and include a range of approaches to radically improve local air quality.
The Low Emission Neighbourhood includes a range of measures to reduce emissions and improve the public realm. Promoting the use of low emission vehicles, and in particular low emission car clubs forms a key component of the approach, alongside walking, cycling, public transport, cycle freight and low emission deliveries and servicing, and managing and restricting the use of polluting vehicles.
The paper begins by describing the design process and considerations when developing a Low Emission Neighbourhood. The Shoreditch area to the north of Central London (the City) developed a Masterplan to transform the streets into a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN).
Shoreditch contains a diverse range of land uses and businesses, generating vehicle trips to service the businesses situated within the City, such as design, print and couriers. The area is also a significant destination in its own right, with the expansion of skyscrapers north from the City and a thriving night time economy and vibrant arts scene. The area is home to the London College of Fashion, and has more recently become synonymous with digital technology industries, and home to the likes of Google and Amazon, which have led to it becoming known as ‘Tech City’.
The Low Emission Neighbourhood masterplan includes a range of measures to reduce emissions: promoting the use of low emission vehicles, and in particular low emission car clubs, an emphasis on walking and cycling with improved urban realm, tree planting, and most radically, sections of electric vehicle only streets.
The paper then goes onto describe the process of implementing these innovative concepts in the real world, through the delivery of the City of London’s Low Emission Neighbourhood, which includes green taxi ranks and restricted access to a key pedestrian and cycling street to all but the cleanest vehicles. This entailed a detailed assessment of the different approaches that could be deployed, including the use of physical barriers, soft measures, enforcement by ANPR cameras or RFID tags, legislative considerations, gateway treatment to communicate new restrictions, whether restrictions should apply when emissions exceed limits or continually, preserving local access for residents.
Association for European Transport