The second in a planned network of 12 low-emission bus zones in London has been implemented in one of the most polluted areas of the capital, Brixton Road.
The new zone, running from Brixton Hill via Stockwell Road and Streatham High Road to Streatham Place, covers 23 routes carrying 130,000 passengers a day on 450 buses. It passes primary schools teaching more than 1,000 children and Brixton Tube station, used by 50,ooo passengers a day.
Only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the zone, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said. He added that every bus on the route meets Euro VI standards through a combination of new and retrofitted buses. More than 200 of the buses are new double-deck Euro VI hybrids; 13 are new single-deck cleaner diesel buses; 230 have been retrofitted to meet a Euro VI emission standard.
The Brixton Road zone follows the launch in March of first low-emission zone on Putney High Street. After less than six months, the Putney route has enjoy a 90 per cent reduction in hourly pollution level breaches. Early analysis suggests a 40 per cent reduction in annual NO2 concentrations on Putney High Street, Mr Khan said.
The Brixton to Streatham route exceeded hourly legal levels of nitrogen dioxide on 539 occasions in 2016 and had breached annual legal pollution limits by January 5 this year. Under EU rules, the limit should not be exceeded more than 18 times in a year.
Mr Khan, said: “To tackle this lethal air we need a dramatic reduction in harmful emissions from polluting buses and older more polluting vehicles. I am committed to making our bus fleet the greenest in the world and today I’ve continued to deliver on that pledge by launching the second of my Low Emission Bus Zones in Brixton.
“I have tasked TfL with transforming the public transport network, which includes removing or retrofitting the oldest, dirtiest buses on our streets to cut harmful emissions. We’ve already seen a massive improvement in air quality along the Putney route. I’m confident that will be replicated here in Brixton and along the 10 other routes where we are introducing Low Emission Bus Zones.
“I’m working relentlessly to do everything in my power to clean up London’s air. Now, the Government needs to help tackle the challenge we face. Rather than preventing the capital from accessing the new National Clean Air Fund, ministers should be delivering a vehicle scrappage fund to get the filthiest cars off our roads. Londoners are living through a public health crisis and need a government which will take action on the toxic air we breathe.”
The ten other low-emission Bus Zones are due to be in place by 2020.