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In 2020 will the bus creating the most nitrogen dioxide pollution be the New Routemaster? - Stephen Knight

December 4, 2014 3:27 PM

After extensive questioning by Assembly Members it has been revealed that by 2020 - the starting date for the Mayor's proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London - the 306 Euro V New Routemaster buses will be central London's dirtiest most polluting buses, emitting around 5 times the NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) pollution of other buses.

Whilst all other double decker buses will be either Euro VI compliant diesel-electric hybrids or have been retrofitted to meet Euro VI emission standards for NOx (oxides of nitrogen), the Routemasters, which only meet the earlier Euro V standard and emit 5 times as much NO2 as a Euro VI vehicle, will be exempted from the emissions standards and won't be retrofitted.

Commenting on this discovery Stephen Knight AM, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson said:

"For all the spinning by the Mayor and TfL about the New Routemaster being the 'cleanest greenest bus' these new figures show that by 2020 the opposite will be true. The 306 Euro V Routemasters on London's streets will emit five times more dangerous NO2 air pollution than other buses in central London from 2020 and remain on our streets for years to come.

"Allowing the New Routemaster to be exempted from the pollution standards in the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is completely indefensible. This double standard is the price of his irrational obsession with the incredibly expensive New Routemaster bus, when his first priority should be to protect the health of Londoners."

"The Mayor of London should have taken a real lead by putting zero exhaust emission electric buses on our roads long ago, but over the last six years has failed to do so."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Information about Euro 6 standards for diesel vehicles:

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/air_pollution/l28186_en.htm

2. Recent Mayoral Answers:

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_278472

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_278393