Why the secrecy over electric buses? – Caroline Pidgeon

October 31, 2013 12:29 PM

London is set to see two pure electric buses on its roads from next month with four more starting in the Spring.

The details of this initiative are hidden away in Transport for London's Commissioner report to the TfL Board published yesterday.

Electric buses are increasingly being adopted in European cities and in cities across the world. London's final adoption of them is a clear example of the capital now trying to catch up with other major cities.

Commenting on the introduction of electric buses on London's roads Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

"Compared to the immense publicity given to the New Bus for London the introduction of electric buses has been a complete secret. Yet this initiative has far more potential to control fares and help tackle air pollution than the Mayor's diesel hybrid buses.

"Electric buses have lower running costs, which means in the long term they could deliver far lower fares than buses which rely on expensive diesel fuel. Electric buses also create zero exhaust emissions so produce far less pollution than hybrid diesel buses, such as the new bus for London. A further added advantage of electric buses is that they create far less noise."

"Instead of pouring millions of public money into the new bus for London the Mayor should have taken the lead in supporting the development on electric buses and taxis. London should be at the forefront of the big switch to electric buses and taxis but instead we are years behind other cities due to the Mayor's obsession with his vanity project of the new bus for London."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Details of the adoption of electric buses on bus routes 507 and 521, starting in November 2013, can be seen on page 28 of Sir Peter Hendy's report to the Transport for London Board meeting, being held on the 6th November.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/Board-20131106-Part-1-Item05-Commissioners-Report.doc.pdf

2. Details of developments in the introduction of electric buses around the world include:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18409830

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/automobiles/from-china-to-los-angeles-taking-the-electric-bus.html?_r=0

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/electric-zero-emission-mta-bus-hits-road-article-1.1455731

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/vienna-electric-buses/

3. Information about the long standing support for electric buses and taxis by Caroline Pidgeon and Liberal Democrat London Assembly Members can be seen here:

http://glalibdems.org.uk/en/document/factsheets/the-big-switch

http://www.mayorwatch.co.uk/making-the-big-switch-to-electric-in-london/201116117

http://www.libdemvoice.org/mike-tuffrey-writes-the-big-switch-turning-londons-buses-and-taxis-electric-24840.html