Friday 29 January 2016

How can Lambeth deliver TfL's Air Quality four types of action?

The Travel in London report 8 has the following within its Air Quality section (p167). Should these headings be core to Lambeth's Air Quality Action Plan 2017-2022:

Steps taken to reduce emissions can generally be categorised into four types. The section below summarises progress under these headings:
• Promoting a shift towards more sustainable travel choices
• Environmentally efficient use of existing vehicles and technology
• Development and uptake of low emission vehicles and technologies
• Tackling local air pollution focus areas or ‘hot spots’.

Promoting a shift towards more sustainable travel choices
• Permitting greater densities of development in areas that have good public transport access.
• Continuing to expand and enhance public transport capacity in London, for example through the Tube upgrade programme, and new infrastructure such as Crossrail.
• More accessible bus network, to further encourage its use.
• Improving the urban realm and streetscape to make walking more attractive for short-distance trips.
• Transforming cycling, through the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling.
• Travel demand management, encouraging smarter travel and supporting initiatives such as car clubs.

Environmentally efficient use of existing vehicles and technology
• Traffic signal optimisation, using SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique), which now operates at about 5,000 of the 6,000 signal-controlled junctions in London.
• Lane rental scheme for road works, minimising disruption on the network.
• Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), a voluntary accreditation scheme that encourages sustainable freight operations.
• Encouraging out-of-hours delivery, smarter driving and reduced engine idling.

Development and uptake of low emission vehicles and technologies
• London’s Low Emission Zone, first introduced in 2008 and progressively extended since.
• Congestion Charging Ultra Low Emission Discount – a 100 per cent discount for the lowest emitting vehicles.
• Cleaner TfL buses – ensuring that London’s bus fleet continues to reflect the latest and cleanest emissions technologies.
• Zero emission vehicles and charge points, encouraged through the Mayor’s Electric Vehicle Delivery Plan.
• Cleaner licensed taxis and PHVs, through the introduction of age limits that encourage lower-emission vehicles.
• Reducing the energy used by the Tube, through initiatives such as regenerative braking, and diversifying the energy supply to encourage low carbon sources.
• Facilitating improvements to other modes, such as the forthcoming electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, and improvements to the emissions performance of the River Services fleet.

Tackling local pollution focus areas or ‘hot spots’
• The Mayor’s Air Quality Fund provides match funding for boroughs to deliver innovative air quality improvement projects. This complemented the Clean Air Fund, which during 2013 implemented a range of measures at particulate matter (PM10) hot spots, funded by the Department for Transport.
• Clear Zones – providing support and funding for Clear Zones where specific measures were implemented to give spot treatments (implemented in Camden, Westminster and Tower Hamlets). Also, supporting access restrictions more generally where road space is given over to other uses, restricting road space and lowering traffic and emissions in the area.
In terms of future policies, (there needs to be a) fundamental approach to reducing transport CO2. This might include increased emphasis on measures such as:
• Developments that minimise transport emissions and the need or desire to travel.
• Transforming the way in which existing areas operate, for example through Low Emission Neighbourhoods.
• Maximising climate change mitigation being a core consideration of transport and spatial planning decisions.
• Increase in the rate of transition to low carbon and renewable sources of transport energy for both road and rail based transport.
• Increase in transport energy efficiency and the proportion of trips made by more sustainable modes, such as walking and cycling.

Ultimately, meeting CO2 reduction targets point to a need for a step change in the way Londoners live and how London itself, for example through its transport system, enables them to live more sustainable lives built around a circular and shared economy.