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London to Phase Out Diesel Buses From 2018 to Tackle ‘Toxic’ Air

  • Mayor Sadiq Khan announces plans as part of clean-up drive
  • ‘Only the cleanest technologies are wanted in our cities’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to stop buying double-decker buses that run purely on diesel from 2018, as part of his drive to clean up the capital’s toxic air.

In addition, all new single-deck buses will be zero-emission, Khan’s office said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The mayor also unveiled the world’s first double-deck hydrogen-fueled bus, manufactured by Wrightbus, and said it will be trialled on London’s roads next year.

Khan is working with officials from other cities around the world to phase out polluting buses and spur the development of zero- and low-emission buses by driving down their costs. Eleven other cities, including New York, Amsterdam and Cape Town, have vowed to phase out the procurement of diesel buses by 2020, with Paris, Madrid and Mexico City pledging to end their use by 2025, his office said.

“It’s great that more cities are getting on board to phase out the procurement of pure diesel buses, which sends a clear signal that only the cleanest technologies are wanted in our cities,” Khan said.

Khan has made cleaning up the capital’s air pollution, blamed for 9,400 early deaths a year, a priority of his tenure. Since becoming mayor in May, he’s ended the use of the dirtiest buses on some of London’s most polluted roads, proposed an emissions surcharge for the most polluting vehicles on top of the capital’s existing congestion charge and announced plans to extend London’s “Ultra-Low Emission Zone.”

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