Would Greenpeace Call for a Bus-Free Day in London?
London's air quality has been damned for breaching EU particle emissions levels on 36 days already this year. Would anti-car groups like Greenpeace ever call for a bus-free day that would show Londoners that much of the city's pollution is due to buses and not car-related?
ABD spokesman Mark McArthur-Christie said
"Buses are a major source of the fine particles that are clogging London's air and Londoners' lungs. As someone who regularly cycles and rides a motorcycle in the City, I know at first hand how filthy some of them are. It's time London's authorities woke up to the better ways to get around town."
Oxford, another heavily bus-reliant city that has banned cars from its centre, has air quality that is so bad it is equivalent to smoking more than 61 cigarettes each day.
The ABD believes that the introduction of the Congestion Charge makes bus pollution even worse, with more buses on the road than ever before. This is backed by Transport for London's own figures which show that private cars make up less than half of the traffic entering the congestion charge zone. The buses, taxis, vans and trucks that make up the majority of the traffic all have the larger diesel engines that are particularly bad for particulate emissions, with bus exhausts containing the two most carcinogenic chemicals (3-NBA and 1,8-DNP) known to science.
New diesel cars have to meet stringent EU4 emisson regulations from the end of 2005 which will drastically cut their contribution to the capital's particulates. Petrol cars produce negligible quantities of this pollutant. Cars have cleaned up their act. Given that a family of four travelling by car is the most environmentally friendly way to travel, its time for buses and trains to stop polluting our towns and cities with impunity, and long overdue for Greenpeace to call for a Bus Free Day.
Notes for Editors
For information about 3-NBA and 1,8-DNP see http://www.abd.org.uk/pr/413.htm
For information on environmentally superior car transport -
"At present a family of four going by car is about as environmentally friendly as you can get"
(Roger Ford, Modern Railways magazine, based on research by Professor R Kemp at Lancaster University)
Notes for Editors