Strolling along the city streets, taking in the fresh air, enjoying the sound of the birds and smiling at the chirpy cyclists riding past, sound familiar? If I gave you a few guesses on where I was talking about, I bet Old Street Roundabout wouldn’t be the first place to spring to mind! However, this busy east London road is going to ditch its reputation as the roundabout of nightmares because it has been allocated as an electric only, ultra-low-emission zone.
This new rule is part of this country’s new road system, the ‘Electric Streets’ scheme. This is the first of its kind in the UK, with the idea being traced back to Feryal Demirci, local councillor and deputy mayor at Hackney Council; ‘it will be first in the country – an ultra-low-emissions street.’ This system was first put into practise earlier this month, on September 3rd, whereby if any petrol or diesel cars make their way into any of the assigned prohibited areas at peak times during the week, they will be fined a hefty £130 fee!
It may well be that this Hackney test-run will be a catalyst to an even greater change when it comes to being more aware of our behaviour and the decisions we make in order to take care of our environment – Caroline Russell, a London Assembly member has declared: ‘Islington and Hackney have seized the opportunity to give people a really strong message about taking pollution seriously and to show the scale of London’s health emergency.’