The City of London Corporation will no longer purchase diesel vehicles, to help cut toxic air pollution.
The local authority, which has a fleet of over 300 vehicles, said the large numbers of diesel vehicles on London’s streets are contributing to the early deaths of thousands of people every year.
The City Corporation will no longer purchase diesel vehicles
It said since 2009 it has achieved a reduction in nitrogen dioxide vehicle emissions of more than 40% and a cut in particulate matter (PM10) of over 50%, due to a reduction in its fleet size and the purchase of newer and cleaner vehicles.
Chris Bell, head of procurement at the City Corporation, said: ‘This agreement is a major step forward in our drive to protect the millions of London tourists, workers and residents from air pollution.
‘The City Corporation takes air quality extremely seriously. We are taking responsibility for the cleanliness of our fleet and encouraging the use of low and zero emission vehicles with our partners.’
The Corporation said the policy is the latest in a series of measures it has brought in to tackle air pollution. In June, a crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling was rolled out across London, following a series of trials in the City.
It has also introduced a City-wide 20mph zone and its new procurement rules have brought in tight restrictions on harmful emissions from bulldozers and generators.
Separately, ClientEarth has welcomed London mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposals to tackle air pollution in its response to the consultation on his action plan.
The environmental law organisation said that by focusing on road transport and in particular diesel vehicles, ‘the Mayor is demonstrating that he understands the urgency of addressing this public health crisis’.
ClientEarth said Mr Khan should go further in three key areas: extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across Greater London; extending the T-charge to all diesel cars; and introducing a vehicle accreditation system ‘to ensure that any Euro 6 diesel vehicles that are allowed to enter London under the T-Charge or ULEZ actually meet the required emission standard when driving on the road’.