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Date updated: 1/02/2023

Permanent zero emission scheme

We want your views on making a permanent traffic restriction on Beech Street to improve the air quality. To respond to the public consultation go to Beech Street Consultation.

The consultation runs from 16 January-6 March.

This proposed scheme is different to the earlier experiment in that we have made changes in response to feedback from Islington Council. 

Public drop-in sessions

We are hosting in-person sessions where you can discuss the scheme with a member of the project team.

Vibast Community Centre, 167 Old Street EC1V 9NH

Wednesday 1 February 6pm-7pm and
Wednesday 8 February 7pm-8pm

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the zero emission scheme email the project team to arrange a phone or video call.

Previous traffic experiment

The City of London Corporation ran a traffic experiment to improve air quality on Beech Street from March 2020 to September 2021. The experiment restricted polluting traffic from using Beech Street as a “through route” whilst allowing access for zero emission capable vehicles and for any vehicle type that was accessing a property on Beech Street.

When the experiment ended the traffic restrictions were removed. Since then, the traffic has returned and is now at 85% of previous levels. The air quality has worsened and the level of NO2 is near the legal limit. If traffic continues to increase it is anticipated that it will rise above the legal limit.

How this scheme will work

  • Only zero-emission vehicles will be able to drive through Beech Street without stopping. In most cases a zero-emission capable vehicle is fully electric and not a hybrid. 
  • All other vehicles (including deliveries and visitors) will be able to enter Beech Street if accessing any car park or forecourt
  • The junction of Bridgewater Street and Beech Street will be closed to all vehicles except cycles
  • The central reservation gaps will be retained
  • Golden Lane at the junction with Beech Street will remain open to all vehicles travelling on Golden Lane and turning left towards Chiswell Street
  • Only zero-emission vehicles travelling from the Aldersgate Street end of Beech Street will be able to turn into Golden Lane
  • Fortune Street will not have any additional traffic restrictions. 

A zero-emission capable vehicle is one which meets the following criteria:

  • Maximum 75 g CO2/km
  • Minimum 20-mile zero emission range
  • Euro 6 equivalent NOx emission standard

You can check whether your vehicle meets the criteria by using GOV.UK vehicle enquiry .

Vehicle movements will be enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).

Results of previous the traffic experiment

The results included:

  • Air quality
  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Access and legibility
  • Taxis
  • Deliveries
  • Public consultation
  • general lessons learned

and are summarised in the Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee December 2021 Committee report.

Bunhill, Barbican and Golden Lane Healthy Neighbourhoods

In parallel to the Beech Street consultation, the City Corporation and Islington Council are seeking views on an area wide approach to healthier streets and public spaces in the Bunhill, Barbican and Golden Lane neighbourhoods. The consultation runs from 16 January- 6 March.

Go the Bunhill, Barbican and Golden Lane Healthy Neighbourhoods for more information and to contribute to the consultation.

Traffic data

The experiment monitoring data for traffic on and around Beech Street is presented in a dashboard(1).

Moving through the dashboard it outlines the following:

  • Page 1 is data prior to the experiment (2019-2020)
  • Page 2 is data from during the experiment (September 2021)
  • Page 3 compares the pre-experiment to during the experiment data
  • Page 4 provides an overall summary

Air quality data

The experiment monitoring data for air quality on and around Beech Street is in Appendix 3 (Air Quality Diffusion Tubes) in the December 2021 Committee Report.

There is a continuous air quality monitor on Beech Street and real-time and historical data can be accessed via the London Air Quality Network.

Taxi data and noise survey data

Mystery shopper taxi journeys were undertaken prior and during the experiment on set routes that were agreed with the taxi trade representatives. The data reviews, the taxi journey costs prior and during the experiment is in Appendix 6 (Traffic Surveys) in the December 2021 Committee Report.

Noise surveys were undertaken at nine locations on and around Beech Street and is in Appendix 7 (Noise Survey Data in the December 2021 Committee Report.

Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee February 2021

Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee December 2021

Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee September 2022

Streets and Walkways Sub-Committee November 2022