From today drivers using Tower Bridge will be encouraged to stop idling and switch their engines off when the bridge is opening, prompted by new road signs.

The scheme, delivered by Southwark and Tower Hamlets and jointly funded by the Mayor of London, is part of the Mayor’s £20 million Air Quality Fund, which will also see a £5m share of the funds allocated to projects across 28 boroughs including:

  • Installation of electric vehicle charging points on lamp posts in Hounslow;
  • A green courier service in Waltham Forest that will provide a same-day delivery service using cargo bikes and electric vehicles for local shoppers;
  • An expanded ‘London Boroughs Consolidation Centre’, which has halved deliveries to council offices since it began. Extra funding will now allow local businesses to start using the consolidation centre and cut their own deliveries and emissions.

In addition, the Mayor has announced his intention to award £1m to at least two flagship ‘Low Emission Neighbourhoods’ in the capital. Nine boroughs have been chosen to work up proposals for transforming a local neighbourhood with a host of measures to improve walking, cycling and air quality.

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, Southwark Council cabinet member for parks, public health and leisure, said: “The anti idling scheme is a good example of joint working and it would be great to see more support coming through for local projects. I hope this scheme raises awareness about the damaging affects of idling with your engine on and encourages drivers across the capital to think carefully about ways they could help reduce air pollution.”