Greenwich

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

Published Tuesday, 08 August 2017

A new scheme encouraging people to switch from cars to walking and cycling to help tackle local air pollution was launched today (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 today 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 today, 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.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The LEN operates in the Greenwich West and Peninsula wards.

People that use the free BetterPoints app to track their activity can earn 10 BetterPoints for every journey they make of over half a mile on foot or by bicycle in the Greenwich LEN. They can spend those points on vouchers for high-street shops or donate them to charity.

PTP is an established approach that helps people reassess the way they travel and provides them with information, advice and motivation to walk, cycle and use public transport more often. PTP is about breaking down barriers to using more sustainable transport and providing reliable information on the alternatives.

PTP within the Greenwich LEN aims to reduce car travel amongst local residents and employees. More specifically, the targets are to increase walking to work by 10 per cent and cycling to work by 15 per cent amongst participants, while reducing car usage amongst participants by 7 per cent.

The free BetterPoints app is available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. BetterPoints is a digital platform for encouraging positive changes in behaviour, such as becoming more active or using sustainable transport. BetterPoints is a registered trademark of BetterPoints Ltd (www.betterpoints.uk).

The Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) programme is funded by the Mayor's Air Quality Fund and is one of five being delivered across London. The programme aims to improve local air quality, create a more human friendly environment and increase safety on local roads. The LEN programme will focus on reducing transport related emissions in and around Greenwich Town Centre and the Trafalgar Road corridor.

The Smart Incentives project will use technology to support residents to travel more sustainably. Using a free app, local residents and employees will be able to earn rewards for walking and cycling in and around the LEN area. Read more about the LEN project.

Read more about the Council's Air Quality Action Plan and the other actions it is taking to help address air quality locally.

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