Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged that all new buses ordered by Transport for London (TfL) for use in the capital will be zero-emission.
The announcement comes as the Mayor hosts the Zero-Emission Bus Summit in City Hall. It means that TfL says it is on track to deliver a fully zero-emission bus network in 2034, three years earlier than the Mayor’s previously stated ambition of 2037. With additional government support and funding, that target may be delivered as early as 2030.
In addition to saving 4m tonnes of carbon by 2037 (5m if the 2030 date is realised) the decision is set to boost British bus manufacturing, with a ramp up in large orders for zero-emission vehicles supporting some 3,000 jobs across the UK.
The acceleration of the shift is also set to bring down costs of zero-emission buses, and committed funding from both the Department for Transport and TfL means the government target for 4,000 zero-emission buses can be achieved faster.
“In the year of COP26 and after setting out my ambition for London to be net zero by 2030, I’m committed to do all I can to help clean up the transport network and reduce its emissions,” says Mr Khan. “London’s toxic air is a shameful health crisis which is causing premature deaths and stunting the growth of children’s lungs.
“Today, as part of our work to tackle both the harmful emissions we breathe and the climate emergency, I am proud to announce that London will no longer procure new diesel or hybrid buses and will only procure zero-emission buses.
“Today’s announcement builds on the progress we’ve already made tackling toxic air pollution. I’ve worked hard to ensure TfL’s entire bus fleet across now meets the Ultra-Low Emission Zone standards, this includes 550 zero-emission buses. We need to act now and accelerate the transition to a greener future, with cleaner air for all.”
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Davies, President and Managing Director of Alexander Dennis, says: “Transport for London’s accelerated investment in zero-emission buses is great news for the environment and the people of London as much as for the communities and businesses across the UK where these buses will be designed and manufactured, not only helping to underpin skilled jobs and apprenticeships but providing the strong foundation that the UK bus industry needs to prosper both domestically and internationally.
“The UK Government has the opportunity to further strengthen Britain’s bus manufacturing industry and its world-class expertise in clean bus technology by enabling an even faster transition through additional funding for London.”