Sadiq Khan has launched the capital's first low emission bus zone in one of the most polluted areas of London: Putney High Street.
The clean bus zone runs 145 buses on seven scheduled routes and will now be serviced by cleaner buses in a drive to slash nitrogen oxide emissions.
Putney High Street exceeded hourly legal levels of nitrogen dioxide on 1,248 occasions in 2016. Under EU rules, the limit shouldn’t be exceeded more than 18 times in a year.
The route, running from Putney Station to Putney Bridge Road, is the first of 12 new low emission zones to be introduced at air quality problem areas. It will be followed in October by the Brixton and Streatham zone. The other 10 will be delivered by 2020.
The hotspots expose Londoners to some of the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution, and are serviced by older buses which add to road transport emissions.
The 12 low emission bus zones planned by 2020 are:
- Putney High Street – from Putney Station to Putney Bridge Road
- Brixton to Streatham – from Brixton Hill via Stockwell Road and Streatham High Road to Streatham Place
- A12 Eastern Avenue – from Blake Hall Road via High Road Leyton and Homerton High Street to Marsh Hill
- Lewisham to Catford – from Bromley Road via Rushey Green to Lewisham High Street
- Stratford – from Abbey Lane via Mile End Road to Woodgrange Road
- Harringay – from High Road to Green Lanes
- Camberwell to New Cross – from Blackheath Road via Camberwell Green and Peckham High Street to Wood’s Green
- Wandsworth to St John’s Hill – from Lavender Hill to Wandsworth Road
- Edgware Road (Kilburn to Maida Vale) – from Cricklewood Broadway via Kilburn High Road to Shoot-Up Hill
- Edmonton to Seven Sisters – from Amhurst Park via Green Lanes and Seven Sisters Road to The Broadway
- Uxbridge Road to Shepherds Bush – from Ealing Broadway via Hanger Lane to Uxbridge Road, The Broadway
- Chiswick High Road to Kensington – via Hammersmith Broadway and Kensington High Street to Studland Street
The mayor said: "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."
There is nothing more important to me than safeguarding the health of Londoners. I’m doing everything in my power to both transform London’s bus fleet and target areas with the worst pollution so that the streets we live and work in are better places to be.
Khan also repeated his call to the government to introduce a national diesel scrappage fund to help get the most polluting vehicles off the roads.
Late last year Khan unveiled the capital's first double-decker hydrogen bus as part of his commitment to phasing out diesel buses.
They will be trialled on London roads this year and no more pure diesel double-decker buses will be added to the capital's fleet from 2018. All new single-deck buses will be zero-emission.
London has committed to procuring around 300 zero emission buses by 2020, with 51 battery electric buses recently going into service (on the 507/521 route).