Every bus used on the Transport for London (TfL) core network now meets Euro VI emission standards or better. The milestone has come thanks to completion of exhaust retrofit work on around 4,000 buses.
It will be followed by a concentration of focus by TfL on further growing its zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet. That work will see “around 300” additional ZEBs introduced to the capital by the end of 2021, complementing the more than 400 that are already in service. TfL plans for 2,000 ZEBs to be in use by 2025, with 2020 having seen an increase in pace of the award of route contracts that specify ZEB operation.
The only TfL buses that do not meet Euro VI standards or better are some that are used on school services or as training and meal relief vehicles. Upgrade of the core TfL fleet to Euro VI or better was originally scheduled for completion by October 2020 but it has been delayed by restrictions brought about by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, TfL has underlined its call for an additional £1bn of funding from the government would allow it to accelerate the electrification of the capital’s 9,000-strong bus fleet and contribute to job creation in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
That money would allow its existing conversion programme to be sped up to make all buses in London zero-emission “by 2030.” While it would require an investment of £1bn from the government, board papers released in 2020 by TfL state that the sum would result in a “nearly £4bn gross investment into bus manufacturing.”
Speaking about the upgrade of all TfL core fleet buses to Euro VI or better, Claire Mann, Director of Bus Operations, says: “This programme has made our diesel buses as clean as they can be, but we are determined to go further.
“We will press ahead with our electrification programme and investments in other green technology to ensure that all buses in London are zero-emission by 2037 or hopefully, if additional financial support can be found, sooner.”
Ms Mann will soon leave TfL to take up the post of Managing Director of FirstGroup-owned South Western Railway. Her successor has not yet been announced.