Mayor Launches 'Low Emission Bus Zones’ On Putney High Street

Only buses that meet toughest standards will be permitted in the zone

Putney High Street
Putney High Street


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The first of a series of ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’ has been launched on Putney High Street this week. These zones will prioritise putting the greenest buses on the most polluted routes, and are just one part of the Mayor’s wide-ranging plans to tackle the capital’s toxic air.

From now on, only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the Putney Low Emission Bus Zone. Putney High Street will also have bus priority measures in place to keep bus delays to a minimum and reduce pollution caused by sitting in traffic.

The launch follows a recent City Hall poll, in which nine out of ten Londoners said air pollution is at a ‘crisis’ level. A report released by the Mayor last week showed that every London borough has recorded illegally high levels of air pollution in the last two years, with Wandsworth having some of the highest levels. Wandsworth has exceeded the annual mean limit for NO2 pollution at five out of six of their automatic monitoring stations, with the sites on Putney High Street recording levels more than double the legal limit.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “London’s toxic air is an outrage and I promised to make cleaning it up one of my top priorities.  Today, I’m delivering on that pledge by introducing our first ever Low Emission Bus Zone. I have asked TfL to remove the oldest, dirtiest buses from our streets and this new route, along with the 11 others we’ll be introducing, will make a big difference to the pollution caused by our public transport system. I now need other cities around the world to work with me to demand cleaner bus technology so we can phase out diesel buses altogether".

The new greener buses are a combination of hybrid and ‘clean’ buses, which meet or exceed Euro VI standards. The Low Emission Bus Zones are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from buses along the routes by around 84%. There are 172 schools located within 100 metres of the new zones, meaning thousands of school children will benefit.

This ‘Low Emission Bus Zone’ is the first of 12 planned zones across the city outside of Central London and just one of the initiatives being implemented by the Mayor to clean up London’s toxic air. The other zone in the Wandsworth borough is Wandsworth to St John’s Hill – which runs from Lavender Hill to Wandsworth Road.

Earlier this week, a motion proposed by local Labour London Assembly Member Leonie Cooper AM - which supported a diesel scrappage scheme but highlighted the importance of using alternative transport as opposed to returning to petrol - was passed 17 votes to 0 by the London Assembly.

Ms Cooper said, “The quality of the air in London is a disgrace, and was left unchecked for far too long by the previous Mayor.

“Sadiq Khan is implementing a radical range of proposals to help tackle London’s toxic air, and has given the government a ready-made template to introduce this policy at a national level. But I am clear that a diesel scrappage scheme must not result in a reversion to petrol. I therefore welcome the targeted initiatives proposed which as well as seeking to drive a transition to ultra-low emission vehicles, encourage a modal shift to public transport, cycle hire and car rental schemes.”

"Thamesfield councillor Mike Ryder, (pictured above), whose ward covers the High Street, said: "I am absolutely delighted at further progress in helping to improve air quality in the high street. We are very lucky in Putney to have such an extensive choice of bus routes running through the high street, but now they will be eco-friendly too. The council and we local councillors also have more ideas on how to help get cleaner air in the high street, and I hope people will be hearing about them in the not too distant future too".

Jonathan Cook, deputy leader of Wandsworth Council said: “This is another step in the right direction for our campaign to rid Putney High Street of diesel bus fumes. Kings College London confirms this is one of only a few places in London were pollution levels have actually fallen in recent years and this stems directly from years of investment in the bus fleet. A lot more remains to be done, we will monitor the impacts closely and continue to make the case for Putney and other congested streets in Wandsworth to get the investment they so badly need.”

March 10, 2017

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