Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it has deployed a further 80 zero emission buses in the South London borough of Sutton, as the Mayor’s Office continues to ramp up efforts to improve air quality and reduce emissions across the capital.
TfL said the buses have been introduced on routes 93, 154, 164, 213 and 80, joining the zero emission buses already operating on Route 413. The operator said the “significant” addition to Sutton’s fleet means more than half of the journeys undertaken by bus in Sutton will be in a zero emission bus.
The introduction of the new buses follows TfL’s recent milestone which saw it confirm that it now has more than 1,000 zero emission buses operating across London, putting it on track to transition to a fully zero emission bus fleet by 2034 – a target it said it could reach four years earlier by 2030 provided it receives continued government investment.
The transport operator said it expects to save an estimated 4.8 million tonnes of carbon by 2034 through the roll out.
Louise Cheeseman, director of buses at TfL, said the operator was “very pleased” to have added more zero emission buses to its fleet in Sutton, adding that buses remain the “quickest, easiest and cheapest” way to shift trips made by cars on to public transport.
“Thanks to the introduction of these new vehicles, half of the bus journeys undertaken in the borough will be zero emission, helping to improve the air quality for those who work and live in the area, or who travel to Sutton to visit its leading cancer treatment and research facilities,” she added.
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “Growing London’s zero-emission bus fleet, which is now the largest in Europe, is an important part of the Mayor’s commitment to reduce toxic air and respond to the climate crisis.
“The Mayor promised Londoners that he would improve transport links in outer London. These new zero-emission buses, improvements and service increases will not only help Londoners get around our city, but improve air quality as we continue building better, greener, fairer London for everyone.”
Professor Kristian Helin, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, welcomed the news of the new buses, adding: “We know air pollution is bad for our health, and indeed contains cancer-causing chemicals, as ICR scientists were among the first to recognise.
“We therefore welcome TfL’s efforts to reduce air pollution – and carbon emissions – through greater use of electric buses in Sutton. It’s good to see this progress in improving public transport in Sutton, which is urgently needed to service the growing needs of The London Cancer Hub on our Sutton site.”
The news follows reports that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had been advised not to launch a legal challenge against London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from next week, with government lawyers predicting any legal challenge would likely fail.