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TfL retrofit programme ensures older buses will be ready for ULEZ

22 July 2014 #Bus and Coach #News #Top Stories

More than 1,000 London buses have undergone Transport for London’s retrofit programme in a step to ensure that the fleet is compliant ahead of the new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The scheme had 1,015 buses that run on 50 of the highest nitrogen dioxide-concentrated routes across the capital – including Elephant and Castle, Marylebone Road and Oxford Street –  fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) devices to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions produced.

The £10 million retrofit project, funded by TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT), should ensure that  London’s public transport fleet is compliant for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that will come into force in 2020.

Mike Weston, Director of Buses at TfL, said, “Fitting this innovative equipment to older buses in our fleet is making a significant contribution to improving London’s air quality and complements the other measures we are taking to improve the environmental performance of our 8,700 strong bus fleet. Retrofitting buses with SCR equipment is the quickest and most cost-effective way to cut NOx emissions from the exhaust systems of older buses.”

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Advisor for Environment and Energy, said that the Mayor of London has driven this comprehensive programme to help improve air quality for residents and visitors to the capital.

“Greening the capital’s bus fleet is one of the Mayor’s top priorities,” said Pencharz. “As well as completing the retrofit of over 1,000 older buses with this pollution busting equipment, we continue to expand the city’s fleet of hybrid buses, including the roll-out of the new Routemasters, and trialing the use of electricity, hydrogen and bio-diesel to power the capital’s fleet,” he continued.

This retrofit programme has now seen the majority of buses in the capital meet Euro-4 targets, with the remaining Euro-3 vehicles set to undergo a similar programme or be replaced with Euro-6 variations. By 2015, TfL says that all the buses in its fleet will meet or exceed Euro-4 regulations for the amount of particulate and NOx emissions produced.

TfL also is beginning a trial with Euro-6 versions of the new Routemaster on selected passenger routes, with a wider implementation scheduled for later this year.

Earlier this month, Merseytravel announced that 59 of its buses have been scheduled for an upgrade on their exhaust systems to lower emissions, which is set to cost in excess of £800,000. In 2013, more than 390 buses in Brighton and Hove, Durham, Oxford, Sunderland, Swale and York, were fitted with SCRs and other emission reduction devices after receiving funding from the DfT’s Green Bus Fund.

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