Council announces another green scheme to deal with Islington’s foul air

Cllr Claudia Webbe and town hall staff in Archway's Navigator Square with a new van powered by CNG.

Cllr Claudia Webbe and town hall staff in Archway's Navigator Square with a new van powered by CNG. Picture: Em Fitzgerald - Credit: Archant

The town hall has revealed plans for a new “green fleet” of vehicles in another step to deal with Islington’s foul air.

Islington Council will become one of the first local authorities to trial large vehicles, which only use environmentally friendly fuels.

This year, it will spend £3million on three refuse and recycling trucks, five heavy vans, a community transport bus and street sweeper. A further 60 light vans and cars will be replaced with fully electric or hybrid models.

They will all be powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). The majority of this will come from biomethane, which is produced entirely from waste food and therefore advertised as a 100 per cent renewable fuel source.

As reported in the Gazette, in a separate measure to improve Islington’s air quality, councillors on the health and care scrutiny committee are also pushing bosses to introduce a “zero tolerance” policy against parents who park cars outside schools as they drop off and pick up their kids. This, they argue, leads to harmful engine idling. The recommendations are set to be considered later this month.

Earlier this year, Transport for London (TfL) also introduced a fully electric fleet of 153 buses, which serve Finsbury Park, Holloway, Barnsbury and Finsbury.

Islington environment leader Cllr Claudia Webbe said of the latest “green fleet” project: “We are committed to reducing air pollution and carbon emissions in our borough, and having a zero-emissions fleet of our own is the ultimate target, once technology allows.

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“Larger vehicles can’t yet be run on electricity. But we are investing in compressed natural gas technology to power our larger vans and trucks, and will keep searching out the greenest possible ways to do things.

“Polluting diesel vehicles will soon be a thing of the past in our own fleet. Our next step is to introduce new vans for the street cleaning service and new accessible community transport buses, both powered by compressed natural gas.

“The future can only be green if we all strive towards that goal, and I’m proud to be pushing towards a zero-emission fleet in Islington.”

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