London plans for zero traffic emissions by 2050
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a transport plan last week that would reduce emissions from the city’s entire transportation system to zero by 2050.
- The plan, which would happen in steps, calls for all taxis and private hire vehicles like Uber to be zero emission "capable" by 2033. City buses would follow by 2037 and all remaining vehicles would be zero emission by 2040.
- The plan also breaks down a staggered introduction of emission-free city zones, starting small in 2025 and eventually growing to cover the entire city. To get there, the city will rely heavily on multiple new public transport projects, like a suburban metro and a new rail project.
This transport plan isn't the only smart city project going on in London. Earlier this month, Khan announced his intentions to make the U.K. capital the world's leading smart city with a new incubator that will focus on green technology. Additionally, London already has some experience in reducing vehicle emissions. The low emission zone (LEZ), a tax scheme that charges most vehicles for entering parts of London, has been in place since 2008. Earlier this year, London’s city hall also introduced an ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) that the city hopes will result in a 50% decline in emissions by 2020.
Despite air quality alerts in June and breaking air pollution levels records in January, efforts like LEZ have already made London one of the lowest carbon emitting cities in the U.K., according to a recent study that used data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.
Vision Zero is also part of the transportation plan as the city aims to eliminate all fatalities from London buses by 2030 and eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions by 2041. Zero emissions from vehicles and zero vehicle deaths are both lofty goals for a city with over 8 million residents, but with an increase in electric vehicle sales, they may just be within reach.
- Transport for London The Mayor's Transport Strategy