To tackle the serious problem of poor air quality, the Mayor of London set up the Mayor's Air Quality Fund (MAQF) in 2013 to provide London boroughs with the money to take targeted action to reduce air pollution in local areas.
In June 2019, the Mayor announced the winners of the third round of bids to the MAQF. Four boroughs will each receive funding to create a Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN), which will introduce a range of public realm and behaviour change measures to help improve air quality and reduce people’s exposure to air pollution.
Steer supported Southwark Council with their successful bid to create a LEN around Walworth Road, near the Elephant & Castle area in South London, bringing a share of the £6m Transport for London is investing in this round of the MAQF.
Walworth is located just outside the recently introduced Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, close to areas of major redevelopment at Elephant & Castle and the Old Kent Road Opportunity Area. Walworth is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood with Walworth Road and East Street market providing a local town centre with a wide range of independent shops and businesses.
However, Walworth Road is among the areas most affected by poor air quality in the city. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceed legal limits and there is high public exposure to it along the Walworth Road and surrounding streets.
Our team worked with officers in highways and environment to make the case for investment in Walworth. We helped the borough to develop a winning bid strategy drawing upon our experience of preparing successful funding bids on behalf of local authorities in London and the UK.
We developed an evidence base and corresponding package of measures designed to improve public realm and work with the community on air quality awareness and behaviour change. The scheme aims to reduce the impact of through-traffic in residential streets, applying Healthy Streets principles to create a more liveable neighbourhood for residents and those visiting the high street and East Street market.
This funding is the final round of the MAQF. In the second round in 2016, Steer helped Westminster City Council to develop their successful bid for funding to create the first LEN in Marylebone. Our urban designers, behaviour change specialists and case-makers work together with clients and communities to develop compelling funding propositions.