The City of London Corporation has secured a £500,000 grant to help cut emissions from boats using the River Thames.

Funding comes from the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund.

The pollution reduction initiative will be coordinated by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) with support from the Port of London Authority (PLA), with the City of London Corporation to act as the lead authority.

As part of the Clean Air Thames project, the funding will be used to upgrade up to 12 commercial freight and passenger boats, reducing emissions from particulates and nitrogen oxides.

PLA environment manager Tanya Ferry said: “Protecting the environment is integral to our 2035 Thames Vision work to maximise use of the river for trade and recreation.

“Practical initiatives like this, working with businesses active up and down the river, from Teddington to the North Sea, are central to achieving our ambitious goals for maximising its social and economic potential.”

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At presents, ship sailing through tidal Thames account for an estimated 1% of total emissions across the capital. However, this figure is expected to rise as standards for road vehicles become stricter and use of the river expands.

CRP director Susannah Wilks said: “Clean Air Thames will deliver tangible air quality improvements through the operation of cleaner vessels on the River Thames, which will benefit river users and riparian boroughs alike.

“Cross River Partnership is very much looking forward to working with the PLA, the City of London Corporation and partners on another project making London a nicer place to live, work and visit.”

The tidal Thames carries more passengers and freight than any other inland UK waterway. It is one of the busiest of its kind in the region assisting in the reduction of 250,000 lorries on London’s roads in 2016.

The tidal Thames is also home to the country’s second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled.