More than 200 buses are going green after part of Wandsworth was revealed as one the worst polluted areas in the whole of London.
Transport for London has announced the launch of a new Low Emission Bus Zone to cover routes running along Lavender Hill and Wandsworth Road following the success of identical zones launched in Putney and Brixton last year.
Wandsworth Council’s transport spokesman welcomed the announcement this morning that the dirtiest buses will stop running on routes through Battersea and will be replaced with buses, both new and retrofitted vehicles, that meet the cleanest emission standards.
Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “All our residents deserve cleaner air and focusing on buses is a big step forward.
“This is good news for people in Battersea who will now see similar improvements in the quality of the air they breathe as has been achieved for people in Putney.
“It was our landmark study and intense lobbying of City Hall that lead to a low emissions bus zone being introduced in Putney High Street in early 2017 and since then it has seen the biggest fall in pollution levels in London thanks to investment in its bus fleet.
“We will continue to lobby the Mayor and TfL to ensure all of Wandsworth’s bus routes use low-emission buses – not just those in pollution hotspots.”
London’s first Low Emission Bus Zone implemented in Putney High Street in 2017 had a major impact on improving air quality levels in the area, which this year has seen a 99% reduction in the number of occasions when pollution limits have been exceeded.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Pollution from vehicles including buses are responsible for over half the harmful emissions we breathe.
“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.”
However, despite efforts like these to cut fumes from the city’s traffic, reports yesterday revealed children in London are growing up with smaller lungs and asthma due to toxic air pollution.
A study of over 2,000 young people living in the capital found that while low emission zones have slightly improved air quality, more ambitious measures are needed to tackle the pollution crisis.
Other town hall initiatives to help improve local air quality levels include a ban on day-time lorry deliveries in Putney High Street and a programme of environmental theatre productions in local schools to teach children how their travel choices affect air quality.