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Monday, 3 July 2017

Most polluting London buses to be upgraded to ultra low emission standards

TfL will be retrofitting 5,000 buses with a new exhaust system to cut emissions as part of the £86.1 million programme to “clean up” London’s most polluting buses.

From TfL press release

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced that the most polluting buses in the capital are going to be cleaned up, with their harmful emissions cut by up to 95 per cent.


As the latest part of the Mayor's bold plans to clean up the capital's air, more than half of London's entire bus fleet are to be upgraded to meet the latest ultra-low Euro VI emissions standard.

Through the new £86.1m programme, around 5,000 buses will be retrofitted with a new exhaust system that will significantly cut their emissions. This will mean that by September 2020 the entire bus fleet will be at least Euro VI standard.

Transport for London (TfL) will work with bus operators and five chosen suppliers to install the new bespoke exhaust systems which will reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Diesel Particulate filters will also be installed alongside this Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) equipment to reduce air pollution.

The retrofit programme is the latest innovative measure from the Mayor as he cleans up the capital's bus fleet.

Currently 700-800 new low-emission buses are being introduced to the fleet every year, with diesel-only buses being phased out. From next year, all new double-deck buses will be hybrid, electric or hydrogen. In addition all buses within the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone will be Euro VI hybrid standard by 2019.

Last week, the Mayor also set out in his draft Transport Strategy that by 2037 at the latest, all 9,200 buses across London will be zero emission.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

'We know that pollution from our roads is a major contributor to London's toxic air. That's why we are working so hard to introduce new clean buses on our streets and why we are continually looking for innovative ways to clean up the most polluting buses. There's no doubt that by cutting the emissions of more than half of the fleet by up to 95 per cent, this innovative retrofit programme is going to make a huge difference to Londoners.'

Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

'London is consistently breaching legal limits on air pollution, which seriously affects people's health, so it's good to see that TfL recognises the need for urgent action on the capital's air pollution crisis. Buses are very much part of the solution, so the retrofitting of the London's bus fleet up to Euro VI standard will come at a small cost compared to the huge benefit to people's health.'

Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said:

'Air pollution has reached unacceptable levels in London and we are doing everything we can to tackle the problem in one of the most ambitious programmes of its type. By retrofitting 5,000 buses - over half of our fleet - with the latest green engine technology, we will be able to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions significantly. We will continue to take action to ensure London's bus fleet remains the greenest and cleanest of any major world city.'

Following a competitive tender process, the five suppliers appointed to retrofit the exhaust systems are Amminex, Baumot Twintec, Eminox, HJS and Proventia.

More than 40 new apprenticeships are being created to support the programme. The apprentices will be employed by the five suppliers and will work across the project a range of areas, from installation and servicing to management.

London has the cleanest bus fleet of any major world city with a third of the fleet running on B20 biodiesel, 2,500 hybrid buses, 71 electric buses, and eight hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Earlier this year, the Mayor announced an inaugural Low Emission Bus Zone in Putney. This is the first of 12 set to be introduced at air quality hotspots across London. Only buses that meet the toughest emission standards will be permitted to run within the zones, which also have effective bus priority measures in place to keep bus delays to a minimum and reduce unnecessary pollution caused by sitting in traffic.

From 2019, all TfL buses operating in central London in the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be ultra-low emission hybrid. Because of the way the network works, a significant number of double-decker buses operating in inner London will therefore be hybrid and many in outer London too.

It is also proposed that all single-decker buses operating in central London will be zero emission at tailpipe by 2020, taking the number of these vehicles up to around 300.‎

Travelling on buses in London represents very good value for money, with a single fare costing £1.50. Since the introduction of the 'Hopper' fare in September last year, passengers can change onto another bus or tram for free within one hour of touching in. With the addition of even greener buses to the fleet, customers can now help to reduce emissions while reducing congestion on London's roads.

According to the 31st March 2017 Bus fleet audit, there are a total of 319 Euro V three-door two-staircase hybrid New Routemaster buses.

Taken from the transcript of the 'Transport for London Investment Decision Making - the New Routemaster Bus' which was held on 8th March 2016:

Jenny Jones AM: It started me thinking about when you are talking to the next Mayor. How are you going to explain that 300 of your fleet of new buses cannot legally go into the ULEZ? How do you explain that?

Leon Daniels (Managing Director - Surface Transport, Transport for London): They can all go into the ULEZ.

Jenny Jones AM: Only with dispensations because 300 of them are Euro V and really should not be in that zone.

Leon Daniels (Managing Director - Surface Transport, Transport for London): Sure. Again, I am going to rely on Mike for his technical knowledge, but Euro V of course is a minimum standard, as is Euro VI. The actual emissions from the Euro V New Routemasters are such at the top end of the Euro V scale that the difference between their actual emissions and the minimum standard for Euro VI is so small that, frankly, the cost of converting them would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. The difference is so small. TfL is well placed to make the trade off on behalf of the taxpayer for what double digit millions would buy in air quality terms. Mike has the detail of this, but the difference between the actual Euro V emissions of a New Routemaster and the minimum Euro VI standard is so small that it just would not be good value.

So this could be a possibility that the Euro V New Routemasters won’t have their engines upgraded to Euro VI standard.

According to the 20th July 2016 (2016/2522) Mayor’s question:

Question from Caroline Pidgeon: Can you provide an update on the 'real world' fuel economy (in miles per gallon) of the existing New Routemaster fleet? Please also state how this compares to hybrid comparators?

Answer from The Mayor Sadiq Khan: Londoners deserve a green, affordable and functional bus fleet, which is why I will not be purchasing any more New Routemasters. Instead, as part of my plans to crackdown on polluting vehicles, I am proposing that TfL leads by example by cleaning up its bus fleet and buying only hybrid or zero emission double-decker buses from 2018.

All types of buses in the fleet undergo independent tests in 'real-world' conditions to enable them to be benchmarked in an identical way as if they were operating on a standard London route.

Fuel consumption figures for the New Routemaster against conventional double-deck hybrids of the same engine generation are below.

Hybrid Double-Deck Buses with Euro VI Engine MPG
New Routemaster 10.84
Other Hybrid Types 7.70-7.99

As compared to the Euro V New Routemasters in service:

From 2nd October 2014 TfL press release

Figures also released today show that the average fuel consumption of the New Routemasters in service is almost 50 per cent better than the buses that operated on the routes before them.

Fuel economy on the following routes has been measured and results have shown a significant increase in their average miles per gallon (MPG) compared with the vehicles previously used:
  • Route 11 - from 4.7 MPG to 7.4 MPG (57 per cent increase);
  • Routes 24 and 390 (combined) - from 5.4 MPG to 7.4 MPG (37 per cent increase);
  • Route 9 - from 3.9 MPG to 6.2 MPG (59 per cent increase);
  • Route 148 - from 5 MPG to 6.9 MPG (38 per cent increase);
  • Route 10 - from 4.4 MPG to 6.5 MPG (48 per cent increase).
For route 11, the New Routemaster (NRM) fuel consumption and mileage data is taken from the period March 3-30, 2014. For routes 24 and 390, it is taken from the period February 24 to March 31, 2014. For routes 9 and 148, it is taken from March 3-31. For route 10, NRM data has been provided for the period May 11 to June 16, 2014.

In tests, a New Routemaster prototype bus with a Euro V engine was found to emit a quarter of the NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) and harmful 'PM' particles of a fleet average hybrid bus and 20 per cent less CO2.

As the Mayor won’t be purchasing any more, the previous Mayor Boris Johnson stated on the 16 December 2015 Mayor’s question (2015/4173) - he said:

“I expect to see the DNA of the NRM adopted on many of the new double deck buses introduced, as older vehicles are renewed and contracts re-let, through the normal tendering programme. TfL is therefore well positioned to meet my aspiration by 2020.”

Alexander Dennis is hoping to regain ground after TfL finished with their purchase of the 1,000 three-door two-staircase New Routemaster buses.

From Route-One
Enviro400H City

Alexander Dennis has enjoyed a record year for UK sales as operators completed compliance with PSVAR rules on double-deckers.

The Falkirk-based business said while group revenue was flat at £601m in the year to the end of December, domestic sales jumped 23% to £356m, driven by the legislation, with 1,444 new buses sold.

CEO Colin Robertson says the company hopes to regain ground lost in London in the coming year with Mayor Sadiq Khan having said he will stop buying the New Routemaster, produced by Wrightbus.

Foreign sales dropped almost 30% to £187m as demand eased in Hong Kong after operators renewed their fleets. However, winning a key contract in Canada may open up a route to much larger sales in the country. The weaker pound is also expected to increase export orders.

Profit during the year rose by £732,000 to £23.7m and margins increased by 0.2% to 4.4%

The company, which has about 2,400 staff, paid an £8m dividend
Wright SRM Volvo B5LHC

The New Routemaster design has evolved to other bus models like the two-door one-staircase Wright SRM with the Volvo B5LH chassis and the Alexander Dennis Enviro400H City. The SRM’s were suppose to be officially allocated on route 139 according to London Bus Routes, but instead they are being used on route 183 according to London Vehicle Finder (if you type in ‘RTP VHR*’ in the search box).

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