Mayor admits that New Bus for London will not meet pollution targets for London’s new ultra low emission zone - Stephen Knight

May 22, 2013 5:58 PM

The Mayor of London today admitted that the New Bus for London is "unlikely to be compliant" with the Ultra Low Emission Zone that he is proposing for central London from 2020.

The admission came following questioning of the Mayor by Stephen Knight AM, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson.

Following the Mayor's response Stephen Knight said:

"After spending over £11 million of public money on the first eight prototype buses the Mayor promised Londoners that each new bus for London would not cost a penny more than any existing hybrid bus. In reality each of the Mayor's diesel hybrid buses are costing £50,000 more to purchase than alternative diesel hybrid double decker buses.

"Having spent so much public money it is alarming that the Mayor now admits that they will not meet the environment controls that are long overdue and which he proposes should start from 2020."

"Bus technology is rapidly developing but the Mayor has made a foolish decision to lock into today's diesel technology for the next 15 years.

"As there is no alternative market for the Mayor's diesel hybrid buses they will have to remain on the roads until the end of their working lives. The Mayor has locked into today's diesel technology by his obsession with the supposed return of a routemaster bus.

"Having admitted that the new London bus will not meet the pollution standards of the ultra-low emission zone the Mayor must now explain what will be the point of a zone which will exempt buses and HGVs - the most polluting vehicles of all."


Notes to editors:

1. On the 13th February 2013 the Mayor of London has announced his intention to create the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, starting in 2020. Details of this announcement can be seen here:

2. In the Mayor's 2012 transport manifesto he stated:

"I will expand the New Bus across London with 600 new buses operating on the streets by the end of my second term as Mayor. I will do this in a cost effective way, by replacing existing buses as they are decommissioned with the New Bus. I will also ensure that each New Bus does not cost more to put on the streets than an existing hybrid bus."

The actual cost of each New Bus for London is £354,500. Existing hybrid diesel buses typically cost about £300,000.

3. Stephen Knight's question to the Mayor can be seen at a webcast of today's Mayor's Question Time, starting at 12.19 pm.