The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed plans for the first of a series of ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’ in the worst air quality hotspots outside central London. These zones prioritise the greenest buses on the worst polluted routes and they are part of his plans to clean up the capital’s ‘toxic air’. From February next year, the first zone, Putney High Street will see exclusive use of hybrid or diesel buses with anti-pollutant systems that meet or exceed Euro6 emissions standards. The second zone, between Brixton and Streatham, will be introduced in October 2017. All are due to be operational by 2020. They are expected to reduce NOx emissions from buses along these routes by around 84%.
The Low Emission Bus Zones will also incorporate a number of changes to the road layout to ensure buses have priority over other traffic and are able to keep moving. This is intended to cut emissions from unnecessary idling and speed up journey times. Other measures the Mayor has proposed to reduce emissions from the capital’s bus fleet include ensuring all buses that operate in the central Ultra Low Emission Zone comply by 2019, a year earlier than planned. This will require all the 3,100 double deckers operating in the zone to be Euro6 hybrid. His plans also include expanding the ULEZ retrofit programme to up to 3,000 buses outside the central zone and procuring only hybrid or zero emission double deckers from 2018.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, ‘It is a scandal that in a wonderful, modern world city like London, thousands of people are dying because the air they breathe is toxic. I am absolutely committed to speeding up our efforts and making sure I do everything possible to improve air quality in the capital. Too many of London’s busiest high streets are choked with fumes and this move will improve the health of those living and working in the most polluted areas. I am determined to reduce emissions and improve London for everyone, and this is the latest in a number of changes I am making to deliver on this.’