Conservatives Call on Mayor to add Trafalgar and Woolwich Road to new Low-Emission Bus Zones

Local Conservatives Roger Tester and Thomas Turrell have called on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to add parts of the A206 to the new low-emission bus zones. The first of these zones has been introduced in Putney and now only buses that have passed tough emission tests can travel through the zone. Roger and Thomas have written to the Mayor of London to ask that Woolwich Road and Trafalgar Road (parts of the A206) are added to the list of zones to be introduced before 2020.

In April 2016, Woolwich Road was named as one of London’s 20 most polluted roads. They connect Greenwich town centre and Woolwich and are used by hundreds of vehicles a day travelling to the Blackwall Tunnel and The O2 arena. Buses that travel north to south and east to west in the borough are likely to cross this stretch of road at some point on their journey.

In their letter, Roger and Thomas cite the proposed Silvertown tunnel and potential new cruise line terminal, as well as the numerous developments being built in the north of the borough, as factors that may lead to even poorer air quality in the area and argue that introducing a low-emission zone on the roads will help tackle this. They also highlight that the roads are used by many of the borough’s bus routes.

Neighbouring borough Lewisham is set to receive two of the new low-emission bus zones, with one operating on between Lewisham and Catford and a second between New Cross and Camberwell. These two zones will affect the 53 and 54 bus routes and, as a result, should bring cleaner and less polluting buses past Charlton and the Blackheath Royal Standard.

The announcement was welcomed by local Conservative councillor Geoff Brighty, who commented: “Many residents are concerned about the impact of poor air quality and I am pleased we may see less polluting buses pass through the area. If Woolwich and Trafalgar Roads were to become a low-emission bus route, then more buses that serve our area will be required to pass the tougher emission test.”

Chairman of Greenwich Conservatives Roger Tester said: “Buses passing through the low-emission zones will need to pass tougher emission targets. Given the congestion and air pollution around Woolwich and Trafalgar roads, we are hugely disappointed in the decision not to include these two on the list. I hope the Mayor will reconsider and take up our suggestion that these roads become low-emission bus routes by 2020.”

Deputy Chairman of Greenwich Conservatives Thomas Turrell added: “Tackling air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing London. Given that this section of the A206 is one the most polluted roads in the capital - if not the worst in our borough – it’s really surprising not to see it on the list. Making this road a low-emission bus route may not be the silver bullet that solves the problem, but it would be a step in the right direction.”