The second of 12 proposed Low Emission Bus Zones has begun operation in the capital – in effect along routes in the south of London between Brixton and Streatham.
From today (12 December) only buses meeting the Euro VI standard will be able to operate in the area, as part of a commit to reduce the emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) around roads which have recorded high levels of air pollution.
In order to meet the requirements for the Low Emission Bus Zone, around 230 buses have been retrofitted to meet the Euro VI standard, while 200 new double-deck hybrid buses are also being used in the area.
In December 2016 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that a series of Low Emission Bus Zones would be established across the capital in a bid to cut NOx emissions by up to 84% in polluted areas.
An initial zone was set up along Putney High Street in March 2017, which initial results have suggested has had a major impact on nitrogen dioxide emissions (see airqualitynews.com story).
Opening the Brixton Low Emission Bus Zone today, the Mayor said: “To tackle this lethal air we need a dramatic reduction in harmful emissions from polluting buses and older more polluting vehicles. I am committed to making our bus fleet the greenest in the world and today I’ve continued to deliver on that pledge by launching the second of my Low Emission Bus Zones in Brixton.
“I have tasked TfL with transforming the public transport network, which includes removing or retrofitting the oldest, dirtiest buses on our streets to cut harmful emissions. We’ve already seen a massive improvement in air quality along the Putney route. I’m confident that will be replicated here in Brixton and along the 10 other routes where we are introducing Low Emission Bus Zones.â€?
According to City Hall he polluted Brixton to Streatham route exceeded hourly legal levels of nitrogen dioxide on 539 occasions in 2016 and breached annual legal pollution limits by? 5 January this year. Under EU rules, the limit should not be exceeded more than 18 times in a year.?
Ten more Low Emission Bus Zones will follow Brixton and Putney, to be delivered by 2020. The upcoming zones – which are all outside the central Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – include Stratford, Harringay and Edgware.
Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Lib Peck, said: “Having a clean bus corridor through the heart of our borough is something we’ve been campaigning for a long time and I’m delighted that the Mayor has implemented this. Poor air quality is a killer, there is no doubt about that, and we are determined here in Lambeth to do all we can to tackle pollution and improve the air we breathe. This is an issue that needs us all to work together and I’m encouraged by the Mayor’s commitment to do just that.â€?
Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, said: “I’m excited about the launch of this second Low Emission Bus Zone in Brixton after very encouraging initial results from the first, in Putney. This is yet another important stepping stone on the way to making the Mayor’s vision of a less polluted cleaner capital come true. Greener buses will help transform air quality and make for a more welcoming town centre.â€?