London to introduce three new Low Emission Bus Zones

London will introduce three new Low Emission Bus Zones (LEBZ), in Lewisham, Stratford and Edmonton, that will cover over 1,330 buses across 79 different bus routes.

The zones see older, more polluting buses taken out of service on routes where levels of NO2 air pollution are known to be high, and replaced with retrofitted or newer models which meet the Euro VI emissions standard.

It will take the number of LEBZ across the city to ten, which City Hall says has helped slash emissions in some areas.

In the Putney High Street LEBZ hourly exceedances of NO2 have been reduced by up to 99% and annual concentrations by nearly 50%.

In Brixton, the LEBZ reduced hourly exceedances of NO2 by up to 85% and annual concentrations by nearly 20%.

In total, the total number of clean buses introduced as a result of the LEBZ is now over 3,000.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘London is facing an air quality emergency, with pollution from vehicles, including buses, responsible for over half the harmful emissions we breathe.

‘Our existing Low Emission Bus Zones have dramatically reduced pollution and improved the health of thousands of Londoners who live or work along the routes – I’m delighted we can now bring the benefits to Lewisham, Stratford and Edmonton.

‘These zones complement the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London earlier this month.

Transport for London (TfL) has already committed to buying only buying zero emission or hybrid double deck buses, as well as retrofitting older buses to reduce NOx emissions by up to 90%.

Last month, the government announced details of the 14 local authorities who will share £25m of the Clean Bus Technology Fund to help retrofit their region’s bus fleets.

It follows last year’s £40m grant to 20 local authorities, which allowed councils to work with bus companies and technology providers to bring buses up to low emission standards.

Manchester will receive nearly £3m to retrofit 176 of their buses and Liverpool will receive £2.5m to retrofit 129 of theirs.

In total, 1817 buses are expected to be retrofitted across the country due to the cash injection.