LEAP funds bold action to remove dirty vehicles from London’s streets

23 January 2020

Mayor of London and LEAP chair Sadiq Khan today announced bold action to tackle dirty air across the capital, outlining a series of measures that will accelerate the move to cleaner vehicles across London:

  • Doubling of grants to scrap older vans, with more businesses now eligible
  • New financial package to clean up polluting lorries and coaches
  • Extra funding for Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods to clean up the air on high streets and in town centres, and help businesses reduce pollution

£1.75million in London economic action partnership (LEAP) funding has been announced to deliver six more business-led Low Emission Neighbourhoods.

Projects to be funded include the installation of one of the UK’s first ultra-fast electric vehicle charging depots in partnership with EON, providing multiple fast charging points, and the provision of additional zero emissions delivery services. 

These projects have so far delivered targeted pollution-busting measures in pollution hotspots across London, such as the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Streets in Shoreditch, a 16 per cent reduction in older more polluting vehicles parking in the Marylebone LEN, and new clean air routes to destinations such as Guys Hospital and Regents Park which help pedestrians reduce their exposure to pollution by up to 60 per cent.


The six new LEAP-funded Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods are:

Love London Road, Love Clean Air – London Road Healthy High Street Project (London Borough of Croydon) £325,000

The project will work in partnership with businesses and organisations along this key corridor to improve air quality and reduce exposure by transforming it into a ‘Healthy High Street’. Measures include:

  • Establishing a zero-emissions delivery service
  • Improved management of kerbside space to reduce the impact of deliveries, including through the use of priority loading bays for electric vehicles at peak times, and piloting the introduction of innovative new technologies such as dynamic intelligent kerbside management tools
  • The creation of modal filter parklets, that reallocate road space to enable the creation of low traffic neighbourhoods and to restrict rat running
  • A positive behaviour change, communications and information campaign programme including activities such as an idling engine campaign and recruiting clean air champions from local businesses and organisations
  • Clean air monthly pop-ups to raise awareness of air quality and promote the project
  • A clean air gateway at Thornton Heath Pond

Tower Hamlets Town Centres and Markets (London Borough of Tower Hamlets) £350,000

The Tower Hamlets BLEN has a focus on the markets in the area; Brick Lane, Whitechapel Road, Chrisp Street and Petticoat Lane, several of which are located on or near roads with heavy traffic and all have high pollution, and high amounts of footfall. Measures include:

  • A cargo-bike hub and the potential to host an East London (Chrisp Street) last mile hub.
  • Storage for market traders on site, reducing the need to move stock and equipment to and from the site each day, in-turn reducing motor vehicle trips and demand for parking bays. This will also enable consolidated journeys, mitigating the impact of ULEZ expansion on traders.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Points for business use
  • A range of improvements to the public realm to support walking and cycling

Ley Street Business Low Emission Neighbourhood (London Borough of Redbridge) £250,000

In Ley Street NO2 concentrations currently exceed legal limits. The scheme will aim to encourage electric vehicle uptake, support active travel and reduce local passenger and freight motor traffic flow. Measures include:

  • Installation of one of the UK’s first Ultra-fast Electric Vehicle charging depots, in partnership with EON, providing multiple fast charging points.
  • A12/Ley Street junction greening, providing a barrier help protect by pedestrians from pollution.
  • A last mile delivery strategy, to include a Freight Hub, which will channel deliveries in the area and coordinate outgoing deliveries, and wherever possible use cargo bikes.
  • Wider cycle lanes and improved cycle crossing facilities at Ley Street and A12 junction, to help make cycling safer and easier.

North End Road Business Low Emission Neighbourhood (London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham) £250,000

The North End Road BLEN is located at one of London’s historic local high streets and markets, which suffers from an unattractive and unwelcoming environment, dominated by heavy traffic. A series of measures will not only improve its attractiveness, but also help improve local air quality. Measures include:

  • A Zero-Emission Freight Service, expanding on Hammersmith's delivery consolidation and e-cargo bike redistribution project to include businesses in Fulham
  • Support for businesses in the Fulham to help them reduce their traffic and emissions, while encouraging sustainable travel habits for commuters.
  • Working with market traders to implement a street market delivery and service plan, identify local storage facilities and encourage the use of the zero-emission freight service. This will aid in the consolidation/ reduction of vehicles travelling to and from the site.
  • Public Realm Improvements, including the creation of 2 gateways at either end of the market and green infrastructure at junctions along North End Road Market. This will also include cycling infrastructure such as cycle stands and hangers.

Thesally Road Business Low Emission Neighbourhood (London Borough of Wandsworth) £333,000

This BLEN will see the implementation of measures along Thessaly Road, managing emissions and improving local air quality. The scheme will support involvement of local businesses and residents and provide a vital link to the Opportunity Areas at Nine Elms and Vauxhall. Measures include:

  • A series of greening initiatives, including pocket parks, green walls, street furniture greening and wider public realm improvements
  • Improved local connections through an active travel clean air route. This will be supported with the promotion of active travel through measures such as a bike hire scheme, cycle repairs and cycle training.
  • School air quality audits and engagement strategy, potentially including a school Zero Emission Zone as well as green screening and anti-idling awareness
  • Support for businesses to switch to low emission fleet vehicles and to reduce emissions and cost through joint procurement of goods and services, and delivery consolidation.

Leytonstone Business Low Emission Neighbourhood (London Borough of Waltham Forest) £250,000

This BLEN focuses around the main commercial and retail town centre area located along Church Lane, High Road Leytonstone and Kirkdale Road. The area has high levels of traffic and pollution. Measures include:

  • Improvements to pedestrian and cycle infrastructure at key junctions, and increased cycle parking provision
  • Provision of green infrastructure including parklets
  • The creation of green links - green and clean walking routes - supported by cleaner air walking maps
  • Trial of a virtual loading bay system with potential to provide priority spaces for low emission delivery vehicles
  • Investigation and scoping study for a ULEV restriction zone and priority parking controls – with the initiative being delivered within the timeframe of the BLEN if detailed feasibility work and local consultations support this
  • Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Points for local businesses and residents.


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said –

“Our dirty air is a national health crisis that contributes to thousands of premature deaths ever year. While bold action such as our Ultra Low Emission Zone is starting to make a difference in London, I want to ensure there is help for businesses making the switch to cleaner greener vehicles – whether you rely on a van, lorry or coach. 

“While we’re doing all we can in the capital, we now need the Government to match our levels of ambition and fund a national scrappage scheme that supports all those small businesses who want to do the right thing and switch to cleaner vehicles across the UK.”

Christina Calderato, TfL’s Head of Transport Strategy and Planning, said: “We know that vans and heavy vehicles play a major part in the capital’s economy and are intrinsic to both logistics and leisure. Unfortunately the freight and coach sectors currently also make a significant contribution to London’s dirty air. That’s why we are providing these grants to help businesses green up  and ensure Londoners can breathe more easily.”

Joe Farrington Douglas, Head of Policy at Asthma UK, said: “Toxic air can be an invisible killer and we welcome the move to tackle dirty air and scrap polluting vehicles. Pollution can be a deadly trigger for about 340,000 people with asthma in London, leaving them gasping for breath, in and out of hospital and at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack.

“Research shows that pollution stunts children’s lung growth which means they are more likely to develop asthma. Air pollution can have a detrimental effect on people’s lung health which is why is it essential the Government commit to targets that reduce toxic air across the UK to the legal levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, so that future generations can breathe clean air.”

Rowena Howie, London Policy Lead for The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Support to incentivise small businesses to invest in the Diesel Scrappage Scheme is extremely welcome and something FSB has long argued for. The extension from micro businesses to small businesses will benefit a greater percentage of our members.

Our members care greatly about London's air quality and small businesses with vans and heavy vehicles will welcome the extension of this scheme.  It will also assure members who rely on extensive delivery networks within their business operations; as they expect their logistical partners to be investing in going green. It is now of critical importance that the scheme is well advertised to small businesses in the capital.”

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of South of England and Urban Policy, said: “FTA strongly welcomes the Mayor’s decision to provide additional financial support for businesses preparing for the tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone standards and upcoming expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“Businesses within the logistics sector are determined to play their part in improving London’s air quality, but many simply do not have the resources to replace their existing fleets to meet the new, required emission standards; this scheme will help to ease the heavy financial burden. In addition to doubling payments for van scrappage and expanding the criteria for support, we are pleased to see TfL is developing a funding programme for HGVs; we look forward to seeing the details of this emerge in the coming months.”

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), said: “A single coach can help take a mile of traffic off the road, helping to improve our capital’s air, but there is always more we can do and this welcome funding will help operators deliver cleaner and greener coaches. We look forward to working with TfL to finalise the details of the scheme over the coming months.”