London is set to implement the first of a series of low emission bus zones, which will put the greenest buses on the worst polluted routes.
The first such zone will cover Putney High Street from February next year, with a second between Brixton and Streatham, due in October 2017.
The zones will also incorporate a number of changes to the road layout to ensure buses have priority over other traffic and are able to keep moving, cutting emissions from unnecessary idling.
Putney High Street will become a low emission bus zone
The mayor’s office said the full series of zones would be implemented by 2020, however Transport for London has yet to release a list of the proposed routes.
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: 'We’ve identified a number of routes where we can implement the mayor’s Low Emission Bus Zones plan quickly and efficiently.'
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘It is a scandal that in a wonderful, modern world city like London, thousands of people are dying because the air they breathe is toxic. I am absolutely committed to speeding up our efforts and making sure I do everything possible to improve air quality in the capital.
‘Too many of London’s busiest high streets are choked with fumes and this move will improve the health of those living and working in the most polluted areas. I am determined to reduce emissions and improve London for everyone, and this is the latest in a number of changes I am making to deliver on this.’
Latest medical research suggests air pollution is a contributory factor in the deaths of around 10,000 residents in the capital every year, with two types of pollutants from surface transport of particular concern - Particulate Matter (PM) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
London has been ranked 15 out of 36 world cities, behind cities like Paris, Berlin and Chicago.