The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Is it the case that some of your New Routemaster buses will be allowed to enter the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone for free, even though they do not meet the required Euro VI standard?


Answer for The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

Answer for The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Murad Qureshi AM:  I have taken over from Val [Valerie Shawcross AM].


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You have taken over from Val.  Thanks, Murad.  Yes, TfL will operate new Routemasters, as I was saying just now, with Euro 5 engines.  By the end of the rollout period, the majority of them will have Euro 6.  By 2016, 494 of the 800 will have Euro 6 and 306 will have Euro 5.


Murad Qureshi AM:  Mr Mayor, you make claims that the ‘Boris bus’ is the cleanest and greenest bus in Europe.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes.


Murad Qureshi AM:  If the 300 on Euro 5 emissions are given permission to come in in 2020, is that not a case of ‑‑


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No.


Murad Qureshi AM:  ‑‑ one rule for your Routemaster buses and another set for the rest of the buses?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, no other types of diesel-electric Euro 5 hybrid buses come close to the achievement of the NBFL for NOx emissions.  The new Routemaster is much better at reducing NOx than other heavy duty vehicles that will not be allowed into the --


Murad Qureshi AM:  Nonetheless, they are still at the Euro 5 standard when you are asking others to be at Euro 6 at that time?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  The NBFLs are better than any other type of Euro 5 hybrid buses in their NOx emissions.  For that reason, it is right to let them.


Murad Qureshi AM:  I will leave that under dispute.  The next issue is actually that there has been a letter from the car industry wanting ‑‑


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I saw that.


Murad Qureshi AM:  ‑‑ emission standards to be even tougher yesterday in the Evening Standard.  Given the concerns expressed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, can we be sure that Euro 4 for petrol really is the equivalent of Euro 6 for diesel?  Should that petrol standard be much higher?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I have had conversations with the motor manufacturing industry.  I was talking to Ford in Dagenham just the other day because it is making the Euro 6 diesel engine, which is a fantastic new very clean diesel engine.  What it wants, as you rightly say, is to stop Euro 4 petrol engines coming in, even though the Euro 4 petrol standard is actually extremely clean. 


Their reasons are not too far to seek.  Very sensibly, they want to try to galvanise people to buy more new cars.  There is a balance to be struck.  We should be fair to people.  If they have a car that is compliant and it is a Euro 4 standard car that we think is making a significant contribution to improving air quality, then it would be unfair on people who had bought that car in good faith to tell them that they cannot come into the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.  We can make huge progress with the Ultra-Low Emission Zone., we can make big, big reductions in NOx and in particulates, but you have to be fair to people.