Smart cameras set to help tackle H&F’s air pollution crisis

Cllr Ben Coleman spoke to BBC Radio London about the council’s plans to expand its successful Clean Air Neighbourhoods scheme.

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H&F's Clean Air Neighbourhoods are set to reduce out-of-borough traffic

Hammersmith & Fulham is creating a borough of Clean Air Neighbourhoods to tackle the toxic air pollution crisis.

The scheme will see the implementation of a range of measures to improve air quality and people’s health, including tree planting and traffic reduction trials.

H&F Deputy Leader Cllr Ben Coleman spoke to BBC Radio London about the council’s plans to expand its successful South Fulham trial from the east to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road.

"We’ve taken 8,000 cars a day, a tonne of carbon dioxide, off the streets. It’s really made a difference," Cllr Ben Coleman said, speaking about the streets to the east.

"And the congestion, which drives all these people who live in small streets with cars ramming past each other crazy, isn’t there anymore."

"Residents west of the road came to us and said, 'we’d like some of that!'"

Smart technology

The scheme uses automatic number plate recognition technology to prevent people from outside the borough from using the area as a cut-through.

"This is not a Low Traffic Neighbourhood – this is a Clean Air Neighbourhood," said Cllr Ben Coleman.

"We use smart cameras, which recognise your number plates. So, if you’re a registered H&F driver, anywhere in the borough, you go through the cameras – no fines.

"That’s what we’re doing in the east already, and now we’re going to do it in the west."

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Screenshot of Twitter post from Hammersmith & Fulham Council about Cllr Coleman's interview on H&F's Clean Air Neighbourhoods programme

View the tweet on Twitter

The restrictions don’t apply to residents from anywhere in the borough, nor to emergency vehicles, buses, taxis and registered local minicabs. Carers and local GPs can also give the council their registration number to get free access.

Friends, family, deliveries and traders can go through the cameras without penalty once residents give them access without charge via the RingGo parking app.

Appalling air

Air pollution is linked to the death of one in seven people in the borough. It’s attributed to nitrogen dioxide air pollution, which is the eighth highest in the country according to a King’s College London poll.

Speaking to BBC Radio London, local Wandsworth Bridge Road resident Natalie said:

"I’ve watched the road get busier and busier over the last 10 to 15 years. And not just the road, all the side roads as well. The air that’s resulting from all this traffic is absolutely appalling."

"We have to listen to our residents," Cllr Coleman added.

"They were the ones who came to us and said, 'The level of congestion, road rage and pollution in the air – we want to do something about it!'"

Listen to the full programme on BBC Radio London.

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