Brixton’s dangerously high level of air pollution has, which has already exceeded the yearly acceptable quota of CO2 levels, has led to calls from Lambeth council for TfL to install ‘clean’ buses.
Public Health England estimates that 112 deaths a year are connected to poor air quality in Lambeth, while Brixton Road’s air quality is some of the worst in London.
Lambeth’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability, councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, has written to Boris Johnson about installing the cleaner buses on every route that runs through Brixton Road and Streatham High Road.
The council has launched a petition on change.org in the hope that residents will join the call and persuade TfL to install the buses.
Cllr Brathwaite hopes Lambeth can follow the example of other London areas in adopting the clean buses.
“These cleaner buses are already in operation up in Oxford Street and in Putney. But here in Lambeth, where we are arguably the borough most reliant on buses, we have these old, gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing buses clogging up our roads and harming our residents,” she said.
“Every day I see cyclists held up behind these buses and school children getting on and off, breathing in really harmful fumes.
“Cleaner buses would make a huge difference to the air quality around our busiest roads and create a much healthier environment.”
Cllr Brathwaite first raised the issue of cleaner buses in November 2014 and the council is lobbying to be included in the London Mayor’s ultra low emission zone from 2020.
Lambeth will also introduce a 20mph speed limit on all council-controlled roads over the next 12 months in a bid to cut emissions and make roads safer for cyclists.
The news comes after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders found that only one fifth of buses registered in the UK last year were using the latest technology to cut emissions.
Instead the buses are using engines that emit higher levels of soot particulates and nitrogen oxides, allegedly to cut costs.
TfL are reportedly working to ensure all London buses use the modern diesel engines, which would clear 350 tonnes of nitrogen oxides from the city’s air according to SMMT.
The cleaner buses already introduced by TfL various types of green technology including hydrogen, electric, hybrid and bio-fuel.