Drivers are to be urged to switch off their engines when queuing at Tower Bridge to reduce toxic fumes being belched out at one of London’s most prominent tourist attractions.
Signs will flash when the bridge is raised urging motorists “please turn your engine off” for “cleaner air” and to “save money and fuel”.
Tower Bridge is raised around 900 times a year, with tens of thousands of vehicles using the crossing each day.
The new signs are part of a Southwark and Tower Hamlets councils’ scheme backed by the Mayor’s £20 million Air Quality Fund.
Mr Johnson today unveiled the latest £5 million tranche of projects being supported by the fund.
- Electric vehicle charging points on hundreds of lamp posts in Hounslow if trials prove successful and popular
- Teams of “dust police” for building sites – enforcement officers will check construction firms are using machinery meeting City Hall’s strict emission standards to improve air quality
- An eco-friendly courier service in Waltham Forest, with same-day deliveries using cargo bikes and electric vehicles for local shoppers
- A community “No to NO2” project in Haringey encouraging school walking zones and cycle maintenance workshops
- A bigger London Boroughs Consolidation Centre to reduce town hall and local business deliveries
Mr Johnson said: “Protecting the well-being of Londoners is vital and these great projects, coupled with my plans for the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, are part of the bold measures we need, along with the strong support of the Government and the EU, to win London’s pollution battle.”
Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Council cabinet member for parks, public health and leisure, hopes the new signs at Tower Bridge will “encourage drivers across the capital to think carefully about ways they could help reduce air pollution”.
The Mayor also announced plans to award £1 million to at least two pioneering “Low Emission Neighbourhoods”, with nine boroughs already drawing up plans under this for cycling, walking and air quality improvement schemes.