New study shows over half of Londoners want diesel vehicles bannedApril 20, 2016
A recent poll revealed that more than half of London’s residents want to ban diesel buses from the city center.
With toxic air pollution becoming a growing problem in England’s capital, Londoners want to see efforts being made to help clean the air and a recent YouGov survey found that diesel vehicles are blamed as being one of the city’s biggest polluters. The survey revealed that 55% of adults in the city would support a crackdown on diesel buses, which experts blame for the largest percentage of nitrogen dioxide fumes from traffic in central London, reported EveningStandard.
In addition to buses, survey participants want to see a ban on other diesel-powered transportation.
The poll also discovered that while 55% of participants were in favor of banning diesel buses, even more of them (62%) were in support of banning diesel lorries. Moreover, 54% felt that diesel taxies should be banned from operation in London’s city center and 52% believe that all diesel cars should be banned from it.
Over two thirds of participants also think that vehicles that produce higher amounts of pollution should pay more for travelling through London.
The survey’s findings may put even more pressure on the city’s next mayor to make the switch from diesel vehicles to cleaner public transportation.
“There is no excuse for dirty diesel buses chocking the capital,” said Alan Andrews, a lawyer with ClientEarth, the company behind the poll. “The technology is ready and the next mayor needs to make sure London has the cleanest buses available,” Andrews added.
City Hall said that London has Europe’s largest fleet of hybrid buses. Currently 1,700 are already in operation on roads along with 17 electric buses and 8 fuel cell buses. An estimated 3,300 hybrid buses are expected to begin operating in London by 2020 and City Hall has also promised to take action to clean up the city’s taxi fleet.
However, some, like Simon Birkett, director of campaign group Clean Air in London, condemned the mayor’s record on lowering bus pollution and feels that Johnson’s efforts are not enough.
Birkett pointed out that some of Mayor Boris Johnson’s hybrid diesel-electric buses failed to operate in electric mode because of battery problems and that “300 of them will be the only vehicles that won’t comply with his so-called Ultra Low Emission Zone in September 2020.”
According to the poll, fumes from diesel vehicles are one of the highest causes of pollution in London. Brikett argues that the best way to “ban” diesel buses would be via “geo-fencing,” so that all buses are electric or can at least switch to electric mode when travelling in areas of the city that have the highest levels of pollution.