Car drivers could now be charged to drive through Ilford

Do you think the plans will help tackle toxic air? Photo: Ken Mears

Do you think the plans will help tackle toxic air? Photo: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council has unveiled plans to bring a low emissions zone to Ilford which would mean “dirty vehicles” would have to pay to drive in the town centre.

Diesel modes of transport, or those below the “Euro 6 standard” could face a daily charge under the Air Quality Action Plan proposals.

This scheme is separate to the Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which is coming to Wanstead and South Woodford up to the A406 in October 2021.

In the Ilford zone, vehicles that do not comply with the emission standards would also face an additional parking tax and they would have to pay a higher rate per hour than complaint modes of transport to stop in the same space.

The lower emission zone is just one of many ideas unveiled in the plans which also includes ambitions for a smoke-free town centre and for cars to be fined if they pass schools during drop off and collection times.

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The council has launched a consultation on its air quality strategy and said the steps are necessary to tackle toxic air pollution and protect the health of residents.

It claims that evidence shows that spending time in areas with high levels of air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms, damage lung function and was linked to an estimated 396 deaths in the borough in 2010.

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Cabinet member for civic pride Councillor John Howard said: “Polluted air leads to increased illnesses and the risk of early death.

“These important proposals are part of our determined efforts to protect the health of our residents, particularly children and the most vulnerable.

“We know that reducing air pollution is a top priority for our residents and something we must tackle now.

“I urge everyone to take a few minutes to have their say on the proposals we are considering. The comments we receive will go a long way to helping us shape our final plan and the action we take to create a cleaner and safer environment.”

The council said it will continue to push more sustainable forms of travel, including cycling and walking, to encourage an active lifestyle and reduce traffic and air pollution.

Measures already introduced include Quietway 6 to provide a safe and quiet route for residents across the borough to cycle rather than take trips in their car.

Council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal said: “It is essential we do everything possible to protect the health of our children now and in the future.

“Pollution is causing long-term health issues for children across London and I am determined to work with residents, my council colleagues and the Mayor of London to reduce the impact in Redbridge.

“I know many residents share these concerns and I am looking forward to hearing your feedback and ideas for how we can make our borough cleaner and greener while building a better future for our families.”

Public responses to the consultation “will shape” the Air Quality Action Plan for the next five years.

The consultation closes on June 23, 2019. Visit:

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