Last week, the Mayor introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), where drivers of older, more polluting vehicles will now be charged to enter the congestion zone area at all times. This is part of a wider effort from the public and private sectors alike to tackle the issue of air and traffic pollution across London.
Across the West End & Mayfair, we have been focussing our efforts on increasing recycling, reducing traffic and improving air quality across the district. These are issues that run through our placemaking and street management workstreams, and to tackle them, we have teamed up with West End property owners to reduce the number of delivery and waste collection vehicles on our streets.
In Westminster alone, it is estimated that 40 different companies collect commercial waste, contributing to the increasing number of vehicles on the street. To consolidate this, we have selected three preferred supply services for our members to choose from. The more companies that use the same suppliers means fewer vehicles in the district, and better air quality for all.
And how do we know this will work? Following a trial that we conducted on Bond Street last year, we saw a 94% reduction in daily waste and recycling vehicle movements, from 144 per day to just 9. This, combined with a 67% reduction in waste bags left on pavements and a 17% reduction in kerbside vehicle stops, has already shown a vast improvement to the street – something that we hope to replicate across the whole district. For businesses themselves, the reduction of delivery and collection vehicles has reduced security risks and increased the efficiency of property management services.
We are recommending businesses either use the services provided by Westminster City Council, or First Mile for their waste and recycling and Anglo for their office supplies. These suppliers have been selected based on their clean credentials, including that they use cleaner, less polluting vehicles, and that none of their waste goes into landfill, but is either recycled or used to produce energy. An added bonus is that they already operate in the West End & Mayfair, and aim to match the prices of existing suppliers, meaning no extra costs for businesses. Participating businesses will also benefit from a free personal delivery service, using electric vehicles for three months.