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What we are doing to improve air quality in Lewisham

Air pollution is a public health emergency. We are determined to tackle this emergency and this page provides a snapshot of the work we are doing to improve air quality for everyone.
  • We have declared a climate emergency and have agreed to make Lewisham carbon neutral by 2030.
  • We are encouraging residents to take up walking and cycling by improving our roads with new segregated cycle routes in Deptford.
  • In July, Mayor and Cabinet agreed to adopt the Low Emission Vehicle Charging Strategy to ensure that everyone in the borough is no further than 500m from an electric vehicle chargepoint by 2020.
  • We have launched a consultation on parking charges in the borough that, if approved, will see the most polluting vehicles paying the most for parking permits.
  • We are investing in green spaces across the borough whether that is new green spaces such as Charlottenberg Park in New Cross, the transformation of Beckenham Place Park or the introduction of the Greening Fund that allows local community groups to bid up to £40,000 for green infrastructure.
  • We are working with local head teachers and parents to reduce air pollution around schools. We are doing this by supporting road closures, launching anti-idling (leaving the car engine running while parked) campaigns and installing green or living walls that absorb air pollution.
  • We are campaigning to extend the ultra-low emission zone to cover the whole borough to ensure everyone benefits from improved air quality.
  • We have worked with King’s College London to produce a free app – Lewisham Air – that provides information on local air quality, across London. The app can provide push alerts notifying residents about local air quality while also allowing them to plan travel routes across London, which avoid areas of low air quality.
  • We have introduced our healthy neighbourhood programme that is aiming to reduce traffic by installing infrastructure such as modal filters (barriers at the end of roads that prevents cars from passing through, but allow cyclists through). This programme will make our streets more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists, while improving air quality. The first scheme in Lewisham and Lee Green started in May and is currently out for community consultation and consultation for our second scheme in east Sydenham started in June.
  • We are part of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ Cleaner Air Villages that support businesses in reducing pollution and congestion.
  • We have expanded our network of air quality monitoring. A new site has been set up in Deptford which increases the continuous monitoring sites to four.
  • A new state of the art supersite has recently been set up at Honor Oak Park sportsground. This includes important research being carried out by Kings College London.

For more information on what we are doing to improve the air quality in the borough, please see the May 2019 air quality action update: