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New green schemes to help small businesses and market traders reduce emissions

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 January 2020

Nurrul Islam from the Mile End Community Project tests out a cargo bike funded through the zero emissions network - an air quality initiative supported by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right). Picture: Tower Hamlets Council.

Nurrul Islam from the Mile End Community Project tests out a cargo bike funded through the zero emissions network - an air quality initiative supported by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right). Picture: Tower Hamlets Council.

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New projects to help businesses become greener and make the borough’s air cleaner are set to be launched.

The four projects are to help independent high street businesses and market traders reduce harmful emissions that contribute to pollution.

Schemes include a "last mile" delivery strategy with cargo bikes that can be used to transport goods instead of vehicles; and on-site storage for market traders to reduce the need to move stock and equipment each day.

There will also be smarter travel grants for employees to use on more sustainable transport, such as cycling, as well as electric vehicle charging points in private estates for both businesses and residents.

The projects will be run in locations across Tower Hamlets, including Chrisp Street and Whitechapel Road.

The council is funding the projects after being awarded £350,000 by the Mayor of London's Local Enterprise Panel to help businesses tackle air pollution.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said: "Poor air quality is one of the biggest public health challenges we face as an inner London borough.

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"We want to support our local businesses to adopt more environmentally-friendly practices without affecting their competitiveness and we hope this extra funding will do just that.

"Traders who have benefited from zero emissions network funding have found viable low-emission alternatives to delivery, which are popular with customers and suppliers."

Tower Hamlets last year became one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency.

Deputy mayor and cabinet member for planning, tackling poverty and air quality Rachel Blake said: "Our most deprived neighbourhoods are some of the most polluted and so we need everyone in Tower Hamlets to help us take action.

"This funding boost will help us to provide tangible ways that local businesses can reduce vehicle emissions.

"This is just the latest in a number of local initiatives we're running to improve air quality and tackle climate change."

The funding, which the council is matching, is part of the plans to create more business low emission neighbourhoods across London.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "While bold action such as our ultra low emission zone is starting to make a difference, we want to ensure there is help for businesses and local communities who want to do the right thing and clean up the air in their neighbourhood."


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