Saturday, 14 May 2016

London Mayor announces plans to clean up London’s toxic air

The new London Mayor has announced plans to combat diesel emissions in London, while Volvo announces their 1,000th Hybrid bus sale.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced today (13 May 2016) that he will launch a formal policy consultation in a matter of weeks on a major package of measures to tackle air pollution in London.

The new Mayor made the announcement during a visit to Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School, in Aldgate, which has delivered a number of green initiatives including a green roof garden, as the school is close to busy roads and in an area known for high pollution levels.

Announcing the consultation, the Mayor said: "I want to act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to meet the scale of the challenge.

Almost 10,000 Londoners die every year because of polluted air according to the latest medical research.  London does not currently meet the legal requirements for pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and new research published by the World Health Organisation just yesterday (12 May 2016) showed that London has breached safe levels of pollutant particles known as PM10.

The proposals in the consultation will include:
·         Extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the North Circular Road and the South Circular Road and the possibility of bringing forward the introduction earlier than 2020. Under current plans the ULEZ will only operate within the Congestion Charging Zone and it is due to come in from 2020.
·         Implementing an extra charge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London using the Congestion Charge payment and enforcement system from 2017 (this would not mean an increase in the Congestion Charge but just the method for collecting the extra charge from people driving the most polluting vehicles)
·         Introducing ULEZ standards for heavy vehicles London-wide from 2020
·         Giving the go-ahead for Transport for London (TfL) to start work on the costs and challenges of implementing a diesel scrappage scheme as part of a wider national scheme delivered by the Government
·         Proposals to work with the Government to tackle air pollution on a national and international level.

Proposals for TfL to lead by example:
·         Introducing self-imposed ULEZ standards a year earlier for TfL double decker buses
·         Implementing clean bus corridors tackling the worst pollution hotspots by concentrating cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes
·         Expanding the ULEZ retrofit programme to 3,000 buses outside the central zone (up from 2,000)
·         Purchasing only hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

I have been elected with a clear mandate to clean up Londons air our biggest environmental challenge.

I know from personal experience that the citys air is damaging peoples health as I only recently started suffering from asthma as an adult.  Many pollution hotspots in London are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.

The previous Mayor was too slow on this issue and the Government has been hopelessly inactive and its Londoners who are suffering as a result.  We need to speed up our efforts so Ill be launching a consultation before the summer to kick-start the process. As well as my proposals, Ill be seeking views on other ways we can do more to clean up the citys air.

In the past, London has only responded after an emergency, like with the Clean Air Act, which followed the Great London Smogs of the 1950s. But I want to act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to match the scale of the challenge.”

Also, the notes section says:
Measures underway the Mayor is committed to:
·         Implement the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to set minimum emission standards for all vehicles entering central London from September 2020
·         Deliver 3,500 hybrid/electric double decker buses and 300 zero emission buses in central London by 2020
·         Retrofit 2,000 Euro V buses across London to meet Euro VI standard by 2020 (subject to funding)
·         All buses to meet the Euro VI standard (eg retrofit, hybrid, Euro VI) by 2023 (subject to funding)
·         Require all newly licensed taxis to be zero emission capable from 2018, with up to £65m in funding to help taxi drivers make this transition
·         Facilitate a step change in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including additional support for residential areas and a rapid charging network with dedicated sites for taxis (£23m in funding received from Government)
·         Robustly enforcing the Non Road Mobile Machinery Low Emission Zone to reduce emissions from construction equipment (subject to extra powers from Government)
·         Continuing the Mayors Air Quality Fund to help boroughs address local air quality hotspots.
·         Continue the LoCity programme working with manufacturers, operators and businesses to reduce emissions from HGVs and vans (first annual conference 25 May 2016).

I'd like to add that Sadiq Khan has said that he wont be ordering any more 3 door, 2 staircase New Routemaster buses. This may not be the end of the New Routemaster but the design has evolved and we now have the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City and Volvo (SRM) Son of Routemaster. They are bought by private bus operators instead of TFL with the 3 door 2 staircase NRM’s.

The reason why Sadiq wont be adding more New Routemasters is because of his election policies. I said in my previous article that the Mayoral candidates won’t be buying more NRM's, in favour of increasing zero emission buses.

In late February 2016, the previous mayor announced an order for 195 NRMs. I do not have any information on those last '195' (3 door 2 staircase) New Routemasters (to increase to 1,000) whether they will continue to be rolled out or not. Please notify me in the comments section if you have any information about the last 195 NRM rollout?

In other news, Volvo buses announce their 1,000 milestone with Hybrid sales in the UK.

The reliability, fuel efficiency and overall performance of the popular B5LH has resulted in Volvo Bus passing the 1,000 sales mark in the UK.

The B5LH is a low-floor hybrid double deck bus chassis manufactured by Volvo Bus. Arriva was the first company to try out the new hybrid in the UK when six were supplied following the launch in 2009 and to date 2,535 Volvo Hybrids have been sold worldwide.

Available with Wrightbus, ADL or MCV bodywork, the Volvo B5LH is a versatile chassis that can be tailored to meet the customers specific requirements. It is the only current double decker of its type in service in the UK that uses a parallel hybrid drive system.

Delivering proven best in class fuel economy when compared to a conventional diesel double deck bus, the B5LH offers high reliability. The vehicle provides complete integration of the engine and the hybrid systems, all of which are designed and manufactured by Volvo Bus.

Phil Owen, Commercial Sales Director for Volvo Bus, said: Reaching the milestone of 1,000 Volvo Hybrid vehicles delivered in the UK is a significant sales achievement.  The B5LH has been giving outstanding results here and worldwide and thanks to the reliability, fuel savings and overall performance of this bus, we have worked with our longstanding customers to keep selling this popular vehicle.

With ongoing development of the B5LH in combination with the new versatile bodybuilder options, we hope to continue to retain the sales success we have seen in recent years.

Richard Shillingford, Engineering Director for RATP Dev London, who will be taking delivery of the 1000th Volvo B5LH added: One of the biggest considerations in any vehicle procurement is fuel efficiency and reliability and we felt that Volvo Bus performance gave us what we were looking for with our new fleet additions going forwards.

A long-standing customer of Volvo Bus is Go-Ahead London, whose Engineering Director is Richard Harrington, who said: We are one of the largest operators of Volvo buses in the UK and Ireland and the biggest bus operator in London and our continued patronage of the product is based on our previous good experience of excellent in-service performance and reliability.

Im aware of the proposed Leeds Trolleybus that was rejected by the government; you can read their reports below.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus which is @CLondoner92

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