London’s Mayor and TfL expand Europe’s greenest bus fleet
The Mayor and TfL are to expand London’s bus retrofit programme, already the largest in the world, with a further 400 vehicles, bringing the total number of buses fitted with this bespoke technology up to 1,800.
A grant of £500,000 from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Cleaner Vehicle Technology Fund will also enable a London fire engine to be retrofitted for the first time, extending technology proven on London’s buses to the London Fire Brigade.
More than a thousand buses have already been retrofitted, with a further 400 in the pipeline. The new funds, which will be supplemented with TfL budget, will bring the total to 1,800.
The retrofit process involves fitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to the exhaust of older buses. Successfully trialled in 2012, the technology provides NOx emission reductions of up to 88%.
Once complete, the full retrofit programme will make all 8,700 buses in London Euro IV for NOx emissions by the end of 2015, reducing NOx emissions by at least 800 tonnes a year.
The Mayor is now, for the first time, extending this retrofit work to London Fire Brigade, and following operational trials hopes to roll the technology out more widely.
Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy, said: ‘The Mayor is taking the most ambitious and comprehensive set of measures in the world to improve London’s air quality, an urgent challenge which affects the health and well-being of all Londoners.
‘At the heart of his plans is the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London from 2020, and just last week he published a road-map to how London can meet European requirements for NO2 by 2020.
‘This fantastic world-leading retrofit programme, which we intend to roll out to more public vehicles wherever possible, has a huge part to play, creating cleaner, greener buses and cleaner, more breathable air for London.’
London’s green bus fleet is the largest in the world, combining the roll out of new hybrid buses (including the New Routemaster), the early introduction of new Euro VI buses, and the retrofit programme, leading to significant improvements in emissions throughout London.
Mike Weston, Director of Buses, said: ‘London already has Europe’s largest fleet of green buses. This further funding will not only enable this number to grow but is also is a fantastic recognition of all that we are doing, and will continue to do, to improve London’s air quality.’
Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer said: ‘It is great to see London putting this funding to good use and leading the way on introducing greener vehicles on the city’s streets, including for the first time a fire engine fitted with pollution reducing technology.
‘This will mean lower emissions and real public health benefits, while supporting skilled jobs and growth in the environmental technologies industries.’
The operation of a green bus fleet is one element of a comprehensive set of measures that the Mayor has introduced to tackle air pollution.
Over the past four years the Mayor has tightened the standard of the Low Emission Zone, further reducing the emissions of around 150,000 vehicles. He has introduced the first age limits to retire the oldest and most polluting taxis; and has delivered a package of innovative local measures through his Clean Air Fund.
The Mayor has also announced plans to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London and has tightened the requirements for vehicles to qualify for a hundred per cent discount to the Congestion Charge.
The Mayor’s efforts have already been recognised in a newly published study, which has ranked London’s air quality 9th best out of 36 world and European cities in terms of health impacts.