Just before Christmas two new battery powered electric buses started on London’s roads and in a few months time two more will start as part of a TfL trial.
This might seem like a dramatic development, but in reality London is falling behind many other cities in the adoption of buses run entirely on electricity.
Electric buses create no exhaust pollution so can play a big role in tackling London’s dangerous levels of air pollution. They are quiet so lead to more pleasant roads for people living on bus routes. Electricity is also cheaper than diesel fuel, so in time could lead to cheaper bus fares.
With all these advantages London should be leading the way, but instead we are on catch up with many other cities in the UK and around the world.
The mayor’s obsession with the diesel powered ‘new bus for London’ has sadly hindered the development of truly new and green buses for London. The so-called ‘new bus for London’ is expensive to buy, expensive to run and is still more polluting than an electric bus.
At the start of 2014 let’s hope that we start to see a big switch to electric buses across every part of London.
Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson