Only buses that meet the cleanest emission standards will operate within the zones, which will be a mixture of new and retrofitted vehicles
Five new ‘clean air’ Low Emission Bus Zones have been created in some of London’s worst polluted hotspots by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Only buses that meet the cleanest emission standards will operate within the new Low Emission Bus Zones, which have been delivered through a combination of new and retrofitted vehicles.
The five new zones, plus two zones launched last year in Putney High Street and on Brixton Road, mean that seven Low Emission Bus Zones are now up and running in the capital. It is estimated that annual bus nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions will be reduced by an average of 90 per cent along the seven bus zones delivered so far.
The Mayor will deliver 12 Low Emission Bus Zones in total, and all of these will be in place ahead of schedule by the end of 2019, earlier than the Mayor’s previous target of 2020.
The five new Low Emission Bus Zones are:
A new evaluation report published by City Hall today shows the first two Low Emission Bus Zones at Putney High Street and Brixton have had a major impact on pollution levels, with Putney High Street exceeding legal limits for just two hours so far in 2018 compared to 807 over the same period in 2016, a reduction of over 99 per cent. At Brixton Road there has been an 85 per cent reduction in the hours exceeding legal limits since 2016.
“Pollution from vehicles including buses are responsible for over half the harmful emissions we breathe,” said Khan. “Low Emission Bus Zones are an effective way of dramatically reducing pollution and improving the health of thousands of Londoners who live or work along the worst air quality hotspots.
“The results in Putney and Brixton speak for themselves, which is why I am committing to delivering all 12 routes ahead of schedule in 2019 rather than 2020.
“The Government urgently needs to step up and allow us to access national funding for cities and to fund a national vehicle scrappage scheme”
The zones are part of Khan’s wider plan to transform the air Londoners breathe, including the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London in just under five months’ time in April 2019.
Khan added: “I’m doing everything in my power to improve our air, but with half of the UK’s roads which exceed legal limits located in London, the Government urgently needs to step up and allow us to access national funding for cities and to fund a national vehicle scrappage scheme to rid London’s streets of the dirtiest vehicles now.”
A recent British Lung Foundation report found that more than 2,000 GP surgeries and 200 hospitals are in areas exceeding legal air quality limits across the country, whilst in London over 400 schools are estimated to be in areas of exceedance.
The Low Emission Bus Zones are being delivered in areas where Londoners are exposed to some of the highest levels of NO2 pollution. Older buses on the routes that can’t be upgraded are taken out of service or sold outside of London.This is part of a London-wide effort to clean up the bus fleet including the phasing out of diesel-only buses and a commitment to purchase only hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018.
The Mayor has also announced an £85 million programme to retrofit older buses. So far around 2,000 buses have been retrofitted and Transport for London are on track to ensure the entire fleet meets the cleanest Euro VI standard in 2020. This will mean in 2020 that the whole of London will become a Low Emission Bus Zone.
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