Putney High Street, one of the capital’s worst pollution hotspots, is to gain London’s first green bus route as Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London attempt to clean up the air Londoners breathe.
Polluted air is believed to contribute to the deaths of around 10,000 Londoners each year and Mr Khan and TfL have recently pledged a range of measures aimed at tackling the issue. Today the mayor announced these would be bolstered with the introduction of ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’.
The first zone will be introduced in Putney where some existing buses will be replaced from next February with hybrid models while others will be retrofitted with “top-of-the-range anti-pollutant systems” which meet or exceed Euro VI emissions standards.
A second route, running between Brixton and Streatham, will be converted in October 2017.
City Hall says the routes are the first of those promised by the Mayor in his election manifesto and will help reduce NOx emissions from buses by around 84 per cent.
Mr Khan said: “It is a scandal that in a wonderful, modern world city like London, thousands of people are dying because the air they breathe is toxic.
“I am absolutely committed to speeding up our efforts and making sure I do everything possible to improve air quality in the capital.
“Too many of London’s busiest high streets are choked with fumes and this move will improve the health of those living and working in the most polluted areas. I am determined to reduce emissions and improve London for everyone, and this is the latest in a number of changes I am making to deliver on this.”
Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, added: “We’ve identified a number of routes where we can implement the Mayor’s Low Emission Bus Zones plan quickly and efficiently.
“These corridors will see quicker journeys and real lasting improvements in air quality.”