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New scheme launched in Royal Borough that rewards local people for helping tackle air pollution

A new scheme encouraging people to switch from cars to walking and cycling to help tackle local air pollution was launched on 3 August in the west Greenwich LEN project area.

The Greenwich LEN (Low Emission Neighbourhood) is one of five areas funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund to improve air quality in London. Road transport is one of the main sources of air pollution in London.

For the next twelve months representatives from Charlton Athletic Community Trust will be working with residents and employees in the LEN on behalf of the Council, to support them through Personalised Travel Planning to use their cars less, and walk and cycle more.

Deputy Leader at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Danny Thorpe, met local residents living in the LEN, to talk to them about the new project, and to show them how they can use the BetterPoints smartphone app to track their walking and cycling in the Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood. The app lets people earn points they can cash in for vouchers for high-street shops or donate to charity.

Councillor Thorpe, who is also the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainability, said: “Working with residents to deliver a greener and cleaner borough is at the heart of our vision for improving air quality in the borough. Tackling air pollution is a huge and complex one and the challenges of reducing emissions and combating the causes of climate change is not one we can do alone. The LEN project is helping us to the test out a host of ideas designed to help improve air quality in west Greenwich and the Peninsula.

“Our aim is to improve air quality across the whole of Royal Greenwich and these projects will help us gauge how best we can engage with residents and look at what else we can introduce across the whole borough. It was really gratifying to meet local residents who are already enthusiastic about adopting new ways of travelling.”

Resident, Barbara Charles, who lives on the Meridian Estate in west Greenwich, joined Councillor Thorpe, said: “It’s great to be working with the Council to try to combat air quality at a local level. The project should raise awareness of the issue of air pollution and that everyone can do their own bit to help. I’m hoping CACT will put on a walking bus to the Valley, although I shouldn’t say that, seeing as I’m a Tottenham supporter!”

Lyndsey Douglas, from Royal Museums Greenwich, who also joined Cllr Thorpe, said: “Royal Museums Greenwich are delighted to support the Royal Borough in the launch of the new Low Emissions Neighbourhood scheme. As an organisation we continually strive to improve our sustainability and have many initiatives to encourage staff to this end such as providing bike loans, cycle racks and showers so people can cycle to work, and season ticket loans to encourage the use of public transport, all of which help to lower emissions. One of the popular wellbeing initiatives is Walking Wednesday, a fortnightly staff walk encouraging our staff to be active and make the most of the beautiful location of Greenwich.”

The year-long rewards scheme will encourage people to think about the way they travel around Greenwich and the impact that has on air quality in the town, and to change the way they think about their own transport uses.

If you live in the LEN area and are interested in finding out more information about Personalised Travel Planning email ptp@cact.org.uk