The Partnership held a business breakfast dedicated to information, discussion and action on air quality improvement in Fitzrovia on 14 September.
Four keynote speeches were heard from –
Val Shawcross – Deputy Mayor for Transport, Ben Plowden – TfL’s Director of Strategy and Planning, Lee Lyons – BID Manager and David Whittleton – Fitzrovia Partnership Chairman/Arup Deputy Chairman.
Val Shawcross provided an overview of the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy “Cleaning the Air” and its impact for business, including plans for a Toxicity Levy-Charge that would be implemented for London in 2018. The T-Charge would be on top of the Congestion Charge, covering the same area and use the existing network of cameras to identifying the very worst polluting vehicles entering the zone. These vehicles are expected to include cars, vans and lorries that do not meet the latest Euro 6 diesel emissions and Euro 5 for petrol.
It was announced that the extension of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which is planned for the city centre in 2020, would be brought forward, perhaps as early as the beginning of 2019, to tie-in with the new T-Charge – and covers both the North and South Circular roads. Motorists whose car, vans and motorbike fail to meet set emission standards, will have to pay a £12.50 charge for travelling in the ULEZ. The audience was informed that the Mayor, Saddiq Khan, wanted to act now “before there was an emergency”.
Val Shawcross, pledged further funding to The Partnership, on behalf of the Mayor’s office to monitor the air quality impact on Tottenham Court Road.
TfL’s Ben Plowden continued on this theme, and told the audience that now was the time to act and to work out how “we can all solve the issues of freight deliveries to London’s congested road networks”. He highlighted The Partnership’s approach to the issue, via the FitzOffice Supplies and FitzWaste schemes, as a “beacon of good practice”, and encouraged other BIDs and Local Authorities in the room to follow suit in a call to action.
David Whittleton and Lee Lyons highlighted how BIDs can help to tackle the air quality challenge, and outlined how The Partnership has supported the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy, and will continue to do so, informing members as to how they can get involved with both schemes, and how they can make environmental as well as financial savings.
The morning provided members with the opportunity to see first-hand the projects and products that The Partnership is delivering that are greening Fitzrovia’s urban streetscape, including a concept scheme for a super parklet, sample street furniture, air purification units and planting that is currently in place on Tottenham Court Road and Charlotte Street, along with a host of literature. Member feedback being extremely positive.