London's Motorists [3]

Session date: 
February 7, 2019
Question By: 
Andrew Boff
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) & Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner, Transport for London)

Question

Andrew Boff AM:  When will the bus fleet be zero‑emission?

 

Supplementary To: 

Answer

London's Motorists [3]

London's Motorists [3]

Answered By: 
Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London) & Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner, Transport for London)

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  We think that of the 9,000 buses we have, roughly speaking 6,000 are ULEZ compliant.  A few hundred are zero‑emission capable (ZEC).  Mike is looking at the figures now.  By 2020, we hope the entire bus fleet should be ULEZ compliant and Euro VI-compliant.  The Commissioner will find the numbers. 

 

Andrew Boff AM:  I am talking about zero emissions specifically.  I am not talking about the ULEZ.

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  Yes, I know.  The Commissioner is looking for the page because that is in our briefing.  We have a number of single‑decker buses and we are looking at the technology around the double‑decker buses as well. 

 

Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner of Transport for London):  Yes, I will find the number in a second.  Sorry.  Bear with me. 

 

Andrew Boff AM:  In an answer to me a few months back you said that by 2037 your bus fleet will be zero‑emission, ie when these young children are in their mid‑20s they will have the benefit of zero‑emission but they are going to have to wait until then. 

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  As you have raised the children, I will give them the truth rather than a misleading point.  With the new buses we are bringing in, which are Euro VI-compliant, we have seen from parts of London that they have already improved the quality of air.  In Putney, in Brixton and in other parts of London we have Low-Emission Bus Zones.  In the Low-Emission Bus Zones we have Euro VI-compliant buses and already the amount of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emitted, which is poisonous, has gone down hugely. 

 

It is not true to say you need to have zero‑emission buses to make the air better.  The pathway to having zero‑emission buses is to have what are called Euro VI-compliant buses, and the good news we are cleaning up our buses.  We have more buses than most cities in the world, more than 9,000, and already 6,000 are Euro

VI-compliant, which is safer than it would have been previously.  We are going to make sure all of them are ULEZ compliant but the ultimate ambition is for all of them to be zero‑emission rather than simply Euro VI.

 

Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner of Transport for London):  Sorry, there are 68 new zero‑emission double‑decker buses on the way this year and so we are continuing to make progress.  As the Mayor has said, the progress on the retrofit to Euro VI standard is going very well, just to reassure Assembly Members ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Does that make it zero‑emission?

 

Mike Brown MVO (Commissioner of Transport for London):  Yes, absolutely.  I would just say that all single‑decker buses will be zero‑emission by 2020 and the pathway for double‑decker buses continues at pace.  It is true to say though, as the Mayor said, that the Euro VI-compliant bus is a very important milestone.  I get a weekly report every Friday of the progress for the retrofit of the existing bus fleet and I am happy to report to you and other Assembly Members that that trajectory of progress continues as planned.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Thank you.  It is fair to say, Mr Mayor, addressing the children here, which is always good, with those acronyms and codes that you threw at them that I am sure they understand implicitly ‑ I do not understand them all but I am sure they do ‑ the truth of the matter for these children is that they will still be breathing in diesel fumes from buses when they are 25.  You will still be breathing in diesel fumes because the Mayor does not want to go any faster.

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  Chairman, are you going to act as a chair?  Are you going to get to the question?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Now, is that ‑‑

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  In your own time, Chairman.

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  He is giving you a taste of your own medicine Mr Mayor.

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  I see.  The referee is on the pitch playing football, is he?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Is it not the case that these children will be breathing in diesel fumes from your buses ‑‑

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  Chairman, the question is?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  ‑‑ until 2037? 

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  -- but where is the question?

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Is that true?

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  Chairman, where is the question?

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  It was a question.

 

Sadiq Khan (Chair, Transport for London):  I am sorry.  I missed it.

 

Andrew Boff AM:  Mr Mayor, is it true that these children will be breathing in diesel emissions from your buses until 2037?

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  You are out of time.  He has managed to ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  He has managed to shake his head and avoid the answer --

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  Assembly Member ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  -- because it is true because your ULEZ bus dream is exactly that ‑‑

 

Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  Assembly Member Boff, that will do ‑‑

 

Andrew Boff AM:  ‑‑ posturing but doing practically nothing to solve air pollution problems in London.