The Mayor of London has launched five new Low Emission Bus Zones as part of the wider commitment to clean the air in London.
The lethal toxic air in the capital and the pollution associated with this is a serious risk to public health; chronic illnesses worsen, life expectancy is shortened, and evidence reveals even children can see their lung development harmed.
These five new Low Emission Bus Zones are situated in the worst polluted hotspots of London, and only those buses that meet the cleanest emission standards will be able to operate within the Low Emission Bus Zones.
A combination of new and retrofitted vehicles will operate in these areas.
It fits neatly into the government’s Clean Air Strategy, which aims to tackle pollution, which is the fourth biggest risk to public health, behind cancer, obesity and heart disease.
The drive to tackle pollution is necessary given a British Lung Foundation report that reveals in excess of 2,000 GP surgeries, and 200 hospitals are in areas of high pollution, while more than 400 schools in London are in regions that exceed legal air quality.
The five new Low Emission Bus Zones take the number currently in operation to seven in London, with estimations predicting annual bus NOx emissions will be reduced by an average of 90% in those zones.
In total, 12 of these zones will be delivered, with the final five in place at the end of next year, exceeding Sadiq Khan’s initial target of 2020.
The Mayor said: “Pollution from vehicles including buses are responsible for over half the harmful emissions we breathe.
“Low Emission Bus Zones are an effective way of dramatically reducing pollution and improving the health of thousands of Londoners who live or work along the worst air quality hotspots.
“The results in Putney and Brixton speak for themselves, which is why I am committing to delivering all 12 routes ahead of schedule in 2019 rather than 2020.”