All buses in Transport for London’s (TfL’s) 9,000-strong bus fleet now meet or exceed the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards, marking a major milestone in tackling toxic air pollution in the capital.
Since 2017, TfL has worked to phase out polluting diesel buses and to retrofit older buses with cleaner engines – and around 4,000 London buses have now been retrofitted to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide levels by an average of 90%.
TfL is now set to focus on growing its zero-emission bus network, helping to meet the Mayor’s zero carbon target by 2030. Decarbonising the transport network and cleaning up London’s air will, say TfL, also support green jobs in the bus industry across the UK.
TfL say around £85m has been invested in retrofitting older diesel buses to meet or exceed the Euro VI emissions standards since 2017. Each retrofitted bus emits up to 95% less NOx emissions and 80% less particulate matter (PM) than before, leading to significant air quality improvements across London.
More than 400 all-electric buses have also been introduced – including the UK’s first full routes of electric double decker buses – and around 300 additional zero-emission buses are expected to join the fleet by the end of this year. TfL continues to roll out electric buses, and there are plans for 2,000 all-electric buses to be in operation by 2025.
TfL has also outlined to government that, with ongoing financial support, it could accelerate this programme to make all buses in London zero-emission by 2030 and in this year of COP26 help the UK meet its new carbon target of 68% reduction
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “This is a major part of our plan to transform London’s entire bus fleet, which has reduced bus NOx emissions London-wide by an average of 90%. It will play a key role in London’s green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to provide job opportunities in London and across the UK.”
Claire Mann, director of bus operations at TfL, said: “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. This programme has made our diesel buses as clean as they can be, but we are determined to go further. 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.”