Mayor launches five new Low Emission Bus Zones

15 November 2018

Mayor launches five new Low Emission Bus Zones to tackle London’s lethal air

·        Five new ‘clean air’ Bus Zones with 1,440 vehicles delivered across ten boroughs

·        All 12 bus zones will be completed ahead of schedule in 2019

·        Putney zone reduced hourly breaches of legal pollution limits by over 99 per cent

·        Annual bus NOx emissions on the completed zones reduced by 90 per cent


In his latest measure to tackle London’s lethal toxic air, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has delivered five new ‘clean air’ Low Emission Bus Zones in some of the capital’s worst polluted hotspots.

Only buses that meet the cleanest emission standards will operate within the new Low Emission Bus Zones, which have been delivered through a combination of new and retrofitted vehicles.


London’s filthy air makes chronic illnesses worse, shortens life expectancy and damages lung development in children. A recent British Lung Foundation report found that more than 2,000 GP surgeries and 200 hospitals are in areas exceeding legal air quality limits across the country, whilst in London over 400 schools are estimated to be in areas of exceedance.

Seven Low Emission Bus Zones are now up and running in the capital - the five new zones announced today plus two zones launched last year in Putney High Street and on Brixton Road. It is estimated that annual bus NOx emissions will be reduced by an average of 90 per cent along the seven bus zones delivered so far.


The Mayor will deliver 12 Low Emission Bus Zones in total, and all of these will be in place ahead of schedule by the end of 2019, earlier than the Mayor’s previous target of 2020.

 The five new Low Emission Bus Zones are:

·               Camberwell to New Cross, cleaning up more than 380 buses

·               Wandsworth to St John Hill, cleaning up more than 200 buses

·               High Road Haringey to Green Lanes, cleaning up more than 330 buses

·               A12 Eastern Avenue to Homerton Road, cleaning up more than 290 buses

·               Edgware Road Kilburn to Maida Vale, cleaning up more than 240 buses

A new evaluation report published by City Hall today shows the first two Low Emission Bus Zones at Putney High Street and Brixton have had a major impact on pollution levels, with Putney High Street exceeding legal limits forjusttwo hours so far in 2018 compared to 807 over the same period in 2016, a reduction of over 99 per cent. At Brixton Road there has been an 85 per cent reduction in the hours exceeding legal limits since 2016.


Sadiq was in New Cross today to meet local schoolchildren as well as a doctor from a GP surgery that runs an asthma clinic based along the busy Camberwell to New Cross Low Emission Bus Zone.


The zone is used by around 70,000 passengers a day and has 380 buses on 20 scheduled bus routes. Older buses have been replaced with new vehicles with top-of-the-range engines, or have been retrofitted with special exhaust control systems that meet or exceed the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Pollution from vehicles including buses are responsible for over half the harmful emissions we breathe. Low Emission Bus Zones are an effective way of dramatically reducing pollution and improving the health of thousands of Londoners who live or work along the worst air quality hotspots. 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.


“These zones are part of my wider plan to transform the air we breathe, including the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London in just under five months’ time in April 2019. I’m doing everything in my power to improve our air, but with half of the UK’s roads which exceed legal limits located in London, the Government urgently needs to step up and allow us to access national funding for cities and to fund a national vehicle scrappage scheme to rid London’s streets of the dirtiest vehicles now.”


Ben Macdonald, Head of Year 11 at Addey and Stanhope school said:  “Addey and Stanhope is located in the heart of Deptford. We love our location – however we are aware of the potential impacts of air pollution on our students and staff. The introduction of the Low Emission Bus Zone on New Cross Road will further help improve our local air quality and it shows that the Mayor is taking this issue seriously. We have recently applied for funding through the Mayor’s Greener City Fund to create a green screen pollution barrier that will help to limit the impact our pollution on our playground. We look forward to working with City Hall and the London Borough of Lewisham on other ways that we can help to improve the liveability of this wonderful city.”


Doctor Rachel Hadden from the Deptford Surgery said:"As a GP working in Lewisham I regularly see the impact of London's air pollution on our asthma patients - inevitably the youngest and most vulnerable patients are most at risk.  As highlighted by the recent WHO conference on Air pollution & Health, this is a key factor affecting our inner city populations, and I am pleased to see the Mayor taking the problem seriously". 


The Low Emission Bus Zones are being delivered in areas where Londoners are exposed to some of the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. Older buses on the routes that can’t be upgraded are taken out of service or sold outside of London.This ispart of a London wide effort to clean up the bus fleet,including the phasing out of diesel-only buses and a commitment to purchase only hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018. The Mayor has also announced an £85 million programme to retrofit older buses. So far around 2,000 buses have been retrofitted and TfL are on track to ensure the entire fleet meets the cleanest Euro VI standard in 2020. This will mean in 2020 that the whole of London will become a Low Emission Bus Zone.

Notes to editors

1, The locations of all the planned Low Emission Bus Zones:

1.      Putney High Street from Putney Station to Putney Bridge Road

2.      Brixton to Streatham from Brixton Road, along Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill and Streatham High Road

3.      A12 Eastern Avenue from Homerton High Street along Homerton Road, Warren Road, Gainsborough Road, Cambridge Park Road to Eastern Avenue

4.      Lewisham to Catford from Bromley Road, along Lewisham High Street to Lewisham Road

5.      Stratford from Mile End Road to Romford Road

6.      Haringey from High Road to Green Lanes

7.      Camberwell to New Cross from Camberwell New Road, along Peckham High Street to New Cross Road

8.      Wandsworth to St John's Hill from Lavender Hill to Wandsworth Road

9.      Edgware Road (Staples Corner to Maida Vale) from Cricklewood Broadway via Shoot-Up Hill to Kilburn High Road

10.     Edmonton to Seven Sisters from Hertford Road High Street via Fore Street to Seven Sisters Road

11.     Uxbridge Road to Shepherds Bush from Uxbridge Road via Ealing Broadway, The Vale to Uxbridge Road

12.     Chiswick High Road to Kensington from Chiswick High Road via Hammersmith Broadway to Kensington High Street

 2, Low Emission Bus Zones use new buses with top-of-the-range engines or retrofit older buses with special exhaust control systems that meet or exceed the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards. Due to the length of the zones there are locations where non-Euro VI buses cross or travel for a short distance along a Low Emission Bus Zone, although they do not serve a bus stop within the zone. The zones have been prioritised in the worst air quality hotspots outside central London where buses contribute significantly to road transport emissions. To see the City Hall evaluation report assessing the effectiveness of the first seven Low Emission Bus Zones visit

3, From April 2019, all TfL buses operating in central London will need to meet the cleanest Euro VI standard just like other heavy vehicles driving in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and all double-decker buses will be hybrid. Because of the way the network works, a significant number of double-decker buses operating in inner London will be hybrid and many in outer London too.

4, By October 2020, all TfL buses in London will meet the cleanest Euro VI standard.

5, For more information on the British Lung Foundation pollution report ‘Toxic Air at the door of the NHS’ visit

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