London to extend ‘electric-only’ bus routes

Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have announced that three routes will switch to operating ‘electric-only’ buses, as part of efforts to tackle air pollution in the capital.

Route 46 between Paddington and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Route 153 between Finsbury Park and Moorgate and Route 214 from Highgate Village to Moorgate will be fully electric by mid-2019, TfL has said.

The Mayor of London has pledged to have 300 zero-emission single-decker buses serving the centre of London by 2020

56 new electric single-deck buses will be built in the UK in a partnership between British manufacturer ADL and Chinese company BYD to service the routes.

Two routes in the capital: routes 507 and 521 became central London’s first fully electric routes in 2016 and the Mayor has committed to having 300 zero-emission single-decker buses serving the centre of London by 2020.

According to TfL the addition of new fully electric buses on routes 46, 153 and 214 will bring the total number of electric buses in London to over 170. This includes route 360, which will convert to fully electric buses later this year, and routes 70 and C1 are set to follow in spring 2018.


The announcement follows on from the Mayor’s commitment to invest £86.1 million to retrofit around 5,000 of the capital’s diesel buses to meet the Euro VI emission standard by September 2020 (see story).

The Mayor has also published a draft version of his long-term transport strategy, which includes an aspiration to make London’s transport system ‘zero emission’ by 2050 (see story).

The strategy confirms that from next year, all new double-deck buses deployed in the capital will be hybrid, electric or hydrogen. In central London, all double-deck buses will be hybrid by 2019 and all single-deck buses will emit zero exhaust emissions by 2020.


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s buses have been one of the biggest contributors to harmful pollution coming from our transport network, and I’m proud that we continue to take some of the boldest action of any city in the world to clean up our bus fleet.

“These three new fully electric bus routes will make a real difference cleaning up the air in busy parts of central London, and are another step along the way to fulfilling my ambition of making all London’s buses zero emission by 2037.

“We’ve already opened the first of our 12 Low Emission Bus Zones, and we’ll only be procuring hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018.

“London’s air quality is a direct cause of illness and premature death across our city, and TfL will continue to lead the way tackling our air pollution crisis head-on.”


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