The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today delivered London’s first ever Low Emission Bus Zone in one of the most polluted areas of London: Putney High Street.
The clean bus zone, which runs a total of 145 buses on seven scheduled routes, will now be serviced by cleaner buses in a bold move to cut harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. From today, only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the Putney Low Emission Bus Zone.
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Putney High Street will also have effective bus priority measures in place to keep bus delays to a minimum and reduce unnecessary pollution caused by sitting in traffic.
“London’s toxic air is an outrage and I promised to make cleaning it up one of my top priorities,” Mr Khan said. “Today, I’m delivering on that pledge by introducing our first ever Low Emission Bus Zone. I have asked TfL to remove the oldest, dirtiest buses from our streets and this new route, along with the 11 others we’ll be introducing, will make a big difference to the pollution caused by our public transport system.”
Low Emission Bus Zones
This route is the first of the new Low Emission Bus Zones to be introduced at air quality hotspots. These hotspots expose Londoners to some of the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, and they contain older buses which contribute significantly to road transport emissions.
Putney High Street exceeded hourly legal levels of nitrogen dioxide on 1,248 occasions in 2016. Under EU rules, the limit shouldn’t be exceeded more than 18 times in a year.
The routes are one part of a major transformation the Mayor has asked TfL to deliver to reduce emissions from London’s 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.
“There is nothing more important to me than safeguarding the health of Londoners. I’m doing everything in my power to both transform London’s bus fleet and target areas with the worst pollution,” Mr Khan continued. “However, I can’t do this alone. That’s why I am repeating my call to the Government to take their responsibility seriously and introduce a national diesel scrappage fund to help get the most polluting vehicles off our roads and to give me the powers to tackle other sources of air pollution.”
The zones represent the most extensive network of clean buses of any major world city.