Boris and TfL expand Europe's greenest bus fleet
A further 400 London buses will be retrofitted with a Selective Catalytic Reduction system, reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by up to 88%.
Pioneered by Boris Johnson and Transport for London (TfL), the scheme takes the total number of London buses fitted with the technology up to 1,800 ‒ the most in Europe.
By the end of 2015, all 8,700 London buses should be fitted with the converters, reducing NOx emissions ‒ which can react in the atmosphere causing smog and acid rain ‒ by at least 800 tonnes a year.
"The Mayor is taking the most ambitious and comprehensive set of measures in the world to improve London's air quality; an urgent challenge which affects the health and well-being of all Londoners," said the Mayor's senior advisor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz.
"This fantastic world-leading retrofit programme, which we intend to roll out to more public vehicles wherever possible, has a huge part to play, creating cleaner, greener buses and cleaner, more breathable air for London."
Greener fire engines
The London Fire Brigade is next in line for retrofitting, with a fire engine trial-run being funded by a £500,000 grant from the Department for Transport's Cleaner Vehicle Technology Fund.
Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer said: "It is great to see London putting this funding to good use and leading the way on introducing greener vehicles on the city's streets, including for the first time a fire engine fitted with pollution reducing technology. This will mean lower emissions and real public health benefits, while supporting skilled jobs and growth in the environmental technologies industries."
A recent study commissioned by the Mayor ranked London's air quality ninth best out of 36 world cities in terms of health impacts. Future plans from the mayoral office include the world's first Ultra Low Emission zone in central London from 2020, where "almost all the vehicles running during working hours are either zero or low emission".
Earlier this month, edie reported that more than 1,000 local authority vehicles including buses, taxis, vans, fire engines and ambulances are going to be made greener thanks to £5m funding as part of the Government's new CVTF. Read more here.