Welcome for announcement on cleaner and greener buses for Battersea
Published: Friday 16th November 18
The council’s transport spokesman has welcomed the announcement that the dirtiest buses will no longer operate on routes through Battersea and are to be replaced with cleaner less polluting models.
Transport for London has announced the official launch of a new Low Emission Bus Zone to cover routes running along Lavender Hill and Wandsworth Road.
According to TfL only buses that meet the cleanest emission standards will be allowed to operate within the new LEBZ. It says around 200 buses will either be replaced with new models or have their engines retro-fitted with cleaner alternatives.
The announcement has been welcomed by the town hall which has consistently called for cleaner buses to be introduced on routes through Wandsworth.
The council was instrumental in persuading TfL and the Mayor to establish London’s first LEBZ in Putney High Street in 2017.
This has had a major impact on improving air quality levels in the High Street, which this year has seen a 99 per cent reduction in the number of episodes when pollution limits have been exceeded.
So far this year TfL says that legal limits on air pollution have been breached for only two hours in Putney High Street - compared to 807 over the same period in 2016.
The council’s campaign to have cleaner buses operate in Putney was shaped by its own 2012 research project which concluded they were the primary sources of nitrogen dioxide in the high street.
Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “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, so we are pleased the Mayor and TfL have learned these lessons and formally introducing a similar zone between St John’s Hill and Vauxhall.
“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. All our residents deserve cleaner air and focusing on buses is a big step forward.”
Other town hall initiatives to help improve local air quality levels include:
- A ban on day-time lorry deliveries in Putney High Street.
- Unveiling London’s most ambitious proposals to promote electric vehicles.
- A rolling programme of environmental theatre productions in local schools to teach children how their travel choices affect air quality.
- Helping schools develop School Travel Plans which reduce the number of cars used on the school run through initiatives like 'walking buses' and car pools.
- Championing car clubs which dramatically reduce total vehicle use and take older, more polluting cars off the road. Wandsworth now has the highest car club membership in London.
- Training members of the council’s civic enforcement team how to explain to drivers of stationary vehicles why they should not leave engines running, especially outside local schools. If drivers refuse to switch engines off they can be issued with fixed penalty notices.
- Recruiting and training air quality champions.
- Promoting cycling and investing in the borough’s cycle network.
- Free bike safety lessons for children and adults to give more residents the confidence and skills they need to start cycling.
- Arranging 'Dr Bike' cycle surgeries to promote cycling and teach residents basic maintenance skills.
- Introducing a borough-wide 20mph speed limit.
- Promoting the free airTEXT messaging service to warn residents when high pollution levels are forecast.
- Supporting public health campaigns and smarter travel awareness schemes to promote walking.
- Supporting Clean Air Day and encouraging local people to make clean air pledges.
- Advising new building developments and infrastructure projects in Nine Elms on reducing dust and diesel pollution.
- Lobbying for higher capacity rail, bus, riverbus and tube services so more residents can switch from cars to public transport.
- The council's Smarter Driving campaign encourages drivers to take simple steps to reduce their emissions, like properly inflating tyres.
For more information about the work being carried out locally to improve air quality, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality.