Reducing diesel emissions

MQT on 2012-07-04
Session date: 
July 4, 2012
Question By: 
Stephen Knight
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What actions are you taking to reduce diesel emissions from public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis and trains, following the World Health Organisation's classification of diesel exhaust fumes as a 'major cancer risk'?


Answer for Reducing diesel emissions

Answer for Reducing diesel emissions

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The biggest driver behind the recent switch to diesel cars is because of Government incentives for lower carbon vehicles, with the current Vehicle Excise Duty regime being the principal culprit. Government has the most effective levers available to reduce the number of diesel vehicles and I have lobbied on this point on a number of occasions.

My Air Quality Strategy includes a number of ambitious measures to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles from both public transport and the broader diesel fleet operating in London. These include:

1) New and tighter Low Emission Zone standards for diesel engine vehicles introduced in January 2012. Some 94 per cent of HGVS, buses and coaches and some 98 per cent of vans and minibuses driving in London now meet these new requirements. TfL buses met this standard prior to the LEZ implementation

2) Tough new age limits for taxis and PHVs leading to the retiring of over 2,300 of the oldest, most polluting taxis this year alone

3) Introducing minimum Euro standard requirements for all new licensed taxis and PHVs

4) Delivering 455 cleaner hybrid buses by March 2013 and 600 New Buses for London, which emit over 50 per cent less NOx than a standard diesel bus. In total 1,000 hybrid buses will be delivered over the next four years

5) retrofitting all older buses with Diesel Particulate Filters so they meet a minimum Euro IV PM standard and up to 1,000 of London's older buses to reduce their NOx emissions by more than 70 per cent

6) supporting the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles, including electric vehicles by installing 1,300 charging points by 2013

7) Launching a London wide 'no engine idling' campaign with targeted outreach to freight vehicles, buses and coaches

8) The Clean Air Fund utilised £5m of funding from the DfT and has targeted innovative pollution reduction measures, such as dust suppressants and taxi marshalling at those central London locations where PM10 concentrations are highest

9) The Gospel Oak to Barking line is the only rail service operated by TfL that still relies on diesel traction. In 2010, the old class 150 rolling stock was replaced with new class 172 rolling stock, which is built to achieve much stricter emissions standards. TfL is also pressing for the line to be electrified, which would allow TfL to move to a fully electric train fleet across all its rail services.