West London now has its first bus route to run solely electric double-deckers.
The 94 bus, operating between Acton Green and Piccadilly Circus, began operations yesterday (February 18), with a further 12 routes expected to follow before the end of 2020.
The electrification of the 94 route follows the 43 and 134 routes in other parts of London in 2019, and brings the current total of electric buses in the capital to 280.
Transport for London (TfL) hopes to have 2,000 zero-emission buses in London by 2025.
Buses on the route also feature innovative new safety features in line with TfL’s world-leading Bus Safety Standard guidelines and will be involved in the trial of an acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) that alerts road users to the presence of quieter running electric vehicles when running at speeds lower than 12mph.
The next routes to be electrified will be the C3, operating between West Cromwell Road and Clapham Junction, and the 23, operating between Westbourne Park and Hammersmith.
Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for Transport, said: ‘At City Hall, we are doing everything in our power to tackle London’s toxic air crisis and the climate emergency. I am delighted to launch the third route in London that will exclusively use electric double-deck buses and, with many more set to follow by the end of the year, we are continuing to make real progress towards improving air quality in the capital.
‘Today’s initiative forms part of our plan to make London’s entire bus fleet greener and cleaner, which is set to reduce bus NOx emissions across the capital by an average of 90 per cent by October 2020.’
Earlier this month, the government announced a new five-year £5bn funding package to improve bus and cycle links for every region outside of London.
The funding will be used to boost the bus services by having more frequent services, including during evenings and weekends and by having more ‘turn up and go’ routes, where passengers won’t have to be reliant on timetables to plan their journeys.
The funding will also be used to ensure that there are more efficient bus routes so that buses can avoid congestion, and it will be used to purchase at least 4,000 new zero-emission buses.
This announcement has come after plans were unveiled by the Department for Transport to create the UK’s first ‘all-electric bus town’.