Petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned from a street in central London in an innovative attempt to reduce pollution, local authorities said.
Officials said Beech Street, which runs underneath the Brutalist designed Barbican Estate, would become Britain’s first “24-7 zero emission street”.
During an 18-month trial starting next year, the area will be restricted to electric or hybrid vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, the City of London Corporation announced on Monday.
However, access will be given for refuse collection and deliveries, for those using car parks off the street and emergency vehicles.
“Drastically reducing air pollution requires radical actions, and these plans will help us eliminate toxic air on our streets,” said the chairman of the corporation’s environment committee, Jeremy Simon.
Officials told AFP they expected a reduction of 90 to 95 percent in traffic on Beech Street, and an improvement in air quality around the immediate area, which includes two schools.
“The scheme aims to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within air quality guidelines set out by the European Union and World Health Organisation,” a corporation statement said.
The trial is separate from the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) introduced across the centre of London earlier this year, for which motorists in older, more polluting vehicles must pay a charge to enter.