Plans have been tabled by Brighton & Hove council to expand the city’s Low Emission Zone – tightening emissions standards for the city’s bus operators.
Steps have been announced by the city council to expand the LEZ and introduce an Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which will require all new buses and taxis operating in the zone to meet the Euro 6 emission standard.
Councillors will discuss the changes at a meeting of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 26 June.
The Low Emission Zone was set up in the city in 2015 and has a requirement for buses operating on major routes in the city to meet at least the Euro V emissions standard.
The announcement comes after bus operators have undertaken a major retrofit programme in Brighton, which, through government funding, has seen 76 buses and 22 taxis fitted with low emission technology, as well as newer, cleaner models rolled out across routes.
According to the city council, all bus operators report that they will have achieved the Euro V emission standard by January 2019, one year earlier than planned, with all Euro III and Euro IV buses replaced or retrofitted to at least the higher standard.
All bus operators in Brighton & Hove have until October 2024 to replace or convert all buses entering the Low Emission Zone to the new Euro 6 standard.
Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell, said: “We are making real progress in our efforts to reduce emissions in the city and create a cleaner environment for our residents and the city’s visitors.
“Through our Air Quality Programme Board, we will continue to work with local transport partners to ensure that every effort is made to improve air quality so that the people of Brighton & Hove are breathing cleaner, healthier air.
“We recently led a bid for funding on behalf of the Greater Brighton City Region, for a slice of an £840 million government fund to spend on tackling the area’s worsening transport congestion problem. We will continue to bid for government funding to support sustainable transport projects.â€?
Brighton & Hove Buses – which operates much of the bus services in the city, called for a widening of the zone in a ‘blueprint for sustainable public transport’, published in March, and the company’s managing director, Martin Harris, has welcomed the development.
He said: “Almost 90% of our 270-strong fleet is now LEZ standard or above and we already have 82 nearly emissions-free buses on the road. What’s more, we’re aiming to be completely emissions-free by 2030.
“We’re committed to working with the council to further realise the environmental benefits of public transport. Just one full double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road, which makes bus travel the most sustainable form of mass transit for the city and the best way to deliver a clean air city in the future.â€?