Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed the first series of Low Emission Bus Zones, which will include the route between Brixton and Streatham, one of the most polluted roads in London.
The low emission zones will prioritise the greenest buses on the capital’s worst polluted routes, as part of Khan plans to clean up the capital’s toxic air, a statement from his office said.
From February next year, the first route along Putney High Street will see exclusive use of hybrid or diesel buses with anti-pollutant systems. The second route – between Brixton and Streatham – will be converted in October 2017.
These are the first Low Emission Bus Zones that will focus on the worst air quality hotspots outside central London by 2020. They are expected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from buses along these routes by around 84 per cent.
In 2015, the annual average level of nitrogen oxide in Brixton was more than three times higher than the EU limit and diesel fume pollution regularly breaches the legal limit for the whole year less than a week into January.
The bus zone will also see changes to road layout to ensure buses have priority over other traffic and are therefore able to keep moving, cutting emissions from unnecessary idling and speeding up journey times
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth’s cabinet member for environment and transport said it was great news in the fight to improve London’s air quality. “Brixton and Streatham see a huge amount of buses travelling through and it has had a real impact on air quality in the area.
Brathwaite said Lambeth had been lobbying the London mayor on th subject for years: “it is encouraging that he seems as determined as we are to make a difference. We will continue to work with the Mayor and TfL to make Lambeth a cleaner and safer place to live,” she said
Lambeth and Southwark’s London Assembly Member, Florence Eshalomi, added: “With bus emissions risking serious health problems for local people, this announcement couldn’t come sooner. Local people have the right to breathe clean air, but for too long those who live and work along this busy route have had to contend with dangerous levels of pollution.