London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the greenest buses will be deployed along some of the U.K. capital’s most polluted roads as part of a drive to improve air quality.
Only hybrid buses or diesel vehicles with “top-of-the-range anti-pollutant systems” will be allowed along Putney High Street in southwest London starting in February, Khan’s office said on Monday in an e-mail. The road hit the headlines in January after breaching annual European Union limits on pollution episodes just eight days into the year. A second route between Brixton and Streatham in south London will be converted in October 2017.
“Too many of London’s busiest high streets are choked with fumes and this move will improve the health of those living and working in the most polluted areas,” Khan said. “It is a scandal that in a wonderful, modern world city like London, thousands of people are dying because the air they breathe is toxic.”
Khan, who came to office in May, has made tackling the capital’s air pollution one of the priorities of his mayoralty. London has been in breach of EU air pollution regulations since 2010, and Khan has pledged to make 3,100 buses comply with the EU’s so-called Euro VI emissions standards by 2019.