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Low emission neighbourhood to be set up in bid to tackle air pollution

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 June 2019

The low emission neighbourhood aims to tackle air pollution. Picture: Ken Mears

The low emission neighbourhood aims to tackle air pollution. Picture: Ken Mears

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Barking and Dagenham is to receive a share of £6 million to tackle air pollution in the borough.

The funding will see a new low emission neighbourhood established in the Becontree Heath area, which will include traffic calming measures, road closures and trials of pedestrian or cycle-only streets.

There will also be new pocket parks - underused areas of public space that will be improved with plants, seating and artwork - and the use of underutilised spaces for pop up events or initiatives.

The money is coming from the mayor of London's air quality fund, which has spent a total of £22 million in supporting projects to improve air quality. The low emission neighbourhood is one of four across the caputal to be set up with the latest round of funding.

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Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "I'm delighted that our air quality fund is helping boroughs to clean up some of our most polluted streets, making them safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Our filthy air is a health crisis that increases the risk of dementia and asthma and damages the lung development of our children.

"This local funding is helping boroughs continue to do their part to improve air quality. Not only that but it is also helping Londoners to experience what a zero-emission city could be like, especially as we work to tackle our climate crisis."

London Assembly Member for City and East, Unmesh Desai, welcomed the funding, saying: "This is great news for residents who have been exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution for far too long.

"With the council providing additional funding, we are likely to see significant investment made in enhancing the green infrastructure in Becontree Heath's public spaces making it more user friendly for pedestrians and cyclists in the community.

"Transforming and improving our neighbourhoods in this way, will bolster the efforts being undertaken to tackle toxic air in our capital, which contributes to the premature deaths of almost 10,000 Londoners per year, stunts the development of children's lungs and leads to a number of other serious health problems."

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