All buses in Transport for London’s 9,000-strong bus fleet now meet or exceed the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards. TfL says this major milestone has significantly reduced the contribution from buses to transport-related NOx emissions, with the proportion of transport NOx emissions coming from TfL’s buses reducing from 15 per cent to just four per cent.
Since 2017, TfL has worked to phase out some diesel buses and to retrofit older buses with cleaner engines. Now completed, this will see harmful NOx emissions from buses fall by an average of 90 per cent.
In the coming years, air quality will be further improved by moving towards a zero-emission bus network and helping to meet the mayor’s zero carbon target by 2030.
Around £85million has been invested in retrofitting older diesel buses to meet or exceed the Euro VI emissions standards since 2017.
In addition, 12 Low Emission Bus Zones were created between 2017 and 2019 to tackle the worst air quality hotspots outside central London, by concentrating cleaner Euro VI buses on the most polluting routes. The zones included high streets and town centres in Brixton, Haringey and Putney, and were introduced one year ahead of target.
The routes helped transform local air quality with a 98 per cent reduction in hourly exceedances on Putney High Street since 2016, previously one of the most polluted parts of the capital.
More than 400 all-electric buses have also been introduced to date, and around 300 additional zero-emission buses are expected to join the fleet by the end of this year.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says: “London’s toxic air is a public health crisis causing premature deaths and stunting the growth of children’s lungs. Today, as part of our work to tackle the twin dangers of toxic air pollution and the climate emergency, I am proud that the entire TfL core bus fleet now meets the strictest emissions standards.”
Claire Mann, director of bus operations at TfL, adds: “Londoners deserve to breathe clean air. Toxic air kills, reduces life quality and, as the pandemic has shown, leaves people more vulnerable to other threats.
“We’ve already seen how much retrofitted buses can clean up the air in busy London hotspots, and now with our retrofit programme complete on our core fleet the whole of the city will benefit from improved air quality.
“We will press ahead with our electrification programme and investments in other green technology to ensure all buses in London are zero emission by 2037 or hopefully, if additional financial support can be found, sooner.”