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Wandsworth seeks expansion of low emission bus routes

Wandsworth council is seeking the further roll-out of low emission bus routes within the borough, after initial results have suggested that a Low Emission Bus Zone on Putney High Street has had a dramatic impact on air pollution.

Putney High Street was the first of 12 Low Emission Bus Zones planned for the capital, aimed at cutting NOx emissions from buses operated in polluted areas by up to 84%, with an initial zone was set up along Putney High Street in March 2017.

Only buses meeting the Euro VI emissions standard are now permitted to operate on Putney High Street

Following the introduction of the Low Emission Bus Zone, only buses meeting the Euro VI emissions standard are able to operate along routes within the area.

Air quality data published by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan last week suggested that only two hourly 200 ug/m3 for nitrogen dioxide have been recorded on Putney High Street so far this year (see airqualitynews.com story).

According to the council’s own data from an air quality monitoring station on the façade of a building in Putney High Street 2017 NO2 levels breached the hourly limit on a total of eight occasions, compared to 403 breaches recorded in 2016. In 2012 there were 1,726 recorded breaches, the council claims.

Low Emission Bus Zone

According to the council the drop in pollution coincides with the introduction of the Low Emission Bus Zone, with research having been done by the authority suggesting that 80% of nitrogen dioxide emissions coming from buses prior to the introduction of the measure.

Putney High Street has been declared a Low Emission Bus Zone from March 2017 (Picture: @MayorofLondon)

In addition the council has made improvements to Putney High Street’s layout and traffic signals to ease queuing, and a ban on delivery vehicles stopping to unload has been introduced to reduce congestion further.

Wandsworth council is now calling for the further introduction of low emission buses within the borough.

‘Significant factor’

The council’s environment spokesman, Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Our campaign to ban polluting buses from Putney High Street and our ban on daytime deliveries have both been significant factors in cutting the congestion which contributes to pollution build ups.

“Progress has been excellent so far, but there’s no room for complacency. We will continue to work to reduce air pollution in Putney and across the borough as set out in our Air Quality Action Plan.

“We will also continue to lobby the Mayor to ensure all the bus routes serving Wandsworth use low-emission buses – not just those in pollution hotspots. All our residents deserve cleaner air, and this fall in Putney’s pollution proves that our focus on buses was correct.â€?

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