Diesel surcharge to be extended across city – funds raised committed to tackling pollution
Westminster City Council Leader Nickie Aiken has today announced a £1m Clean Air Fund to be invested in creating ‘no pollution zones’ around many schools across the city.
Westminster and its schools suffer from some of the worst pollution in the country and poor air quality is the leading concern among residents. The new zones will see a range of measures introduced to cut down the amount harmful emissions in the air surrounding schools, including:
…which will benefit schools in pollution hotspots. With 9.9 million drivers in the capital road transport contributes to over half of the most deadly emissions (Nox and PM2.5) and the majority of the measures are aimed at reducing the number of vehicles traveling on the roads around schools at the beginning and end of the school day.
All schools in the city will also receive an air quality check list advising schools on the action they can take to reduce the impact of pollution, for example - helping pupils create clean air travel plans.
Once schools have been through the checklist and identified projects which will reduce pollution – they can apply for further funding from the council.
The new zones will be funded through the council’s diesel surcharge – a fee paid by diesel drivers parking in the city – which the council introduced last year.
The surcharge, which has seen an overall reduction of 14 per cent in the number of the most polluting vehicles visiting Westminster in its first nine months, will now be extended across the city in phases.
Westminster City Council Leader Nickie Aiken: “As parents we all want to ensure our children can grow up in a safe and healthy environment. Air quality is the number one concern for our residents and with over a million people moving into and travelling to our neighbourhoods each day it is crucial that we tackle poor air quality for the young people in our schools. Introducing the first no pollution zones in Westminster will cut the number of vehicles around schools, encourage cleaner, greener habits and make a big difference locally.”