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Due to growing concerns over the poor air quality in Putney High Street


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On Monday Mike Weston, the Operations Director of London Bus Services, met with Richard Tracey, who represents Merton and Wandsworth on the London Assembly, plus local councillors, Wandsworth Council experts and two leading members of the Putney Society.

Mr Tracey has been lobbying Transport for London for the last year to urge cleaner buses in the High Street. He has been joined in this by local Councillors Jim Maddan and Rosemary Torrington,  whose Thamesfield Ward includes Putney High Street.  Cllr Maddan was at Monday’s meeting, along with the other Thamesfield councillor, Mike Ryder. The Putney Society was represented by Deputy Chairman Jonathan Calloway and Hugh Samuel, who heads the society’s transport panel.

During the two-hour meeting Mr Weston said the representations from Putney “had certainly put the High Street’s problems well and truly on the agenda.”  He pointed out the action that was already being taken: 10 hybrid diesel/electric buses which drastically reduce emissions and 13 of the latest  Euro 5 diesel buses will be in service on the 22 route through Putney by this October, and London Buses (with the aid of a £10m grant) also plans to retro-fit special exhaust adaptors to 900 buses to cut harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions and should be able to allocate 86 of these to the 14, 74, 85 and 430 bus routes going through the High Street. Mr Weston said he was not complacent about air quality and the effect buses had on it, and promised to look at whatever else could be done in Putney.

The Putney Society plans to hold a public meeting in April to discuss local air quality, and London Bus Services speakers will be there to answer questions. The local councillors will also attend.

Local Assembly member Richard Tracey said:
" The meeting went very well and we are looking forward to having TfL managers and technical experts coming to Putney for a public meeting in April. I personally want the Council environment experts to measure the pollution levels progressively and try to identify which vehicles are producing pollution. We need to press for all the bus routes using Putney High Street to apply cleaner hybrid vehicles as soon as possible"

Jonathan Callaway from the Putney Society told
"It was a good meeting in that the strength of feeling and the strength of evidence (the council’s monitoring efforts and our map) did register with TfL who are now prioritising further routes for new hybrid buses and for ones to be newly retrofitted with NOx abatement equipment."

Meanwhile, it has also been announced that London United Buses have gained a new contract to run the 220 route, which goes through Putney, and hybrid buses will be used for night services on this.

January 10, 2012