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Cleaner greener air as Marylebone wins a million to become a Low Emission Neighbourhood

Tue, 19/07/2016

(Above: a visualisation of the future scheme on Marylebone High Street)

One of London’s most polluted areas will get a new lease of life thanks to funding of £1 million to tackle poor air quality.

Westminster City Council was today awarded funds from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund for the Marylebone Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme.

The money will be match-funded by the council and private sector partners to introduce new measures, including:

  • creating a new building energy efficiency scheme
  • increasing patrols by ‘Air Marshals’ to enforce no engine idling
  • improving public realm spaces and creating greener spaces
  • introducing play streets for families to enjoy
  • vehicle delivery plans to reduce traffic
  • piloting a dedicated and bookable residents’ electric vehicle charging point scheme

Marylebone suffers some of the highest pollution levels in London, given the area’s location, mix of land uses, building density and type, and number of vehicle trips. Its location between major transport routes results in a complex urban air quality problem with levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that exceed recommended health levels and very high levels of particulate matter. This is particularly concerning given the number of young families, schools, universities, businesses and medical facilities in Marylebone.

Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said: “This is wonderful news for all our residents, businesses and visitors. We thank Mayor Sadiq Khan for endorsing our proposals. It will mean that we can tackle air quality issues by putting in place new and innovative schemes that will have a real impact on pollution. This will help improve health and wellbeing and also go a long way towards creating a greener and cleaner city for everyone.

“We have worked in close collaboration with local residents, businesses and land owners, so the environmental outcomes will gather momentum, as partners benefit from each other’s experience and expertise to help build a greener Marylebone.”

The Marylebone LEN is a unique public, private and community partnership, with 2 major property companies, 3 Business Improvement Districts, 2 resident amenity associations, private companies and a Neighbourhood Forum working side by side with Westminster City Council and supported by industry-leading consultants.

Tim Carnegie, Chairman of the Marylebone Association, said: “Residents of Marylebone are delighted that our community has been chosen to pilot these much needed air quality improvements. We look forward to bringing our Low Emissions Neighbourhood proposals to life and sharing our experience with others to benefit the whole of London.”

Simon Loomes, Strategic Projects Director at The Portman Estate, said: “We are delighted to have been part of this successful bid. Thanks go to the GLA for recognising our joint commitment. We are now keen to get to the hard graft of delivering change. Westminster City Council has led the stakeholder team with an inclusive approach to solving a complex problem. Congratulations to the team.”

Kay Buxton, of Marble Arch London, said: “We’re thrilled that the hard work has paid off, a testament to organisations working together to tackle an issue that affects us all. Marble Arch London is delighted to be part of the Low Emission Neighbourhood and we look forward to seeing projects bearing fruit on the ground, to improve air quality in this strategic corner of Central London.”

Penny Alexander, Chief Executive of Baker Street Quarter Partnership, said: “This is wonderful news for Marylebone and demonstrates the power of partnership with the whole community pulling together to address this important issue. Together we will be making positive changes which complement what the Baker Street Quarter Partnership is already doing with members to achieve the same goal – cleaner air for all.”

Steven Medway, Managing Director Trading Environment at New West End Company, said: “New West End Company is dedicated to improving air quality in the West End, part of which is contributing towards the successful Low Emission Neighbourhood bid in Marylebone. The LEN will have a hugely positive contribution towards health and well-being, complement existing action already being undertaken by businesses in the area and demonstrate the on-going commitment of London government to encouraging retail tourism.”

Find out more about the Marylebone bid

Westminster City Council is committed to improving air quality throughout the borough. Our Greener City Action Plan maps out how, with our partners, we aim to tackle pollution in other areas of Westminster.

Last updated: 11 August 2016