Lambeth Council lobbies TfL for cleaner buses to improve air quality in Brixton


Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite on Brixton Road - one of the most polluted streets in London
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite on Brixton Road – one of the most polluted streets in London

Lambeth council is calling on TfL to install “clean buses” on every route that runs through Brixton Road and Streatham High Road.

Brixton Road’s air quality is among the worst in London.

In 2015, it exceeded the acceptable annual pollution levels just three weeks into the year.

Public Health England has estimated that 112 deaths a year are connected to poor air quality in Lambeth.

Lambeth’s cabinet member for Environment and Sustainability, Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, says she is determined to see things improve.

 She said: “These cleaner buses are already in operation up in Oxford Street and in Putney. But here in Lambeth, where we are arguably the borough most reliant on buses, we have these old, gaz-guzzling, carbon-spewing buses clogging up our roads and harming our residents.

“Every day I see cyclists held up behind these buses and school children getting on and off, breathing in really harmful fumes.

“Cleaner Buses would make a huge difference to the air quality around our busiest roads and create a much healthier environment.” 

Brathwaite has written to Boris Johnson and his senior environment advisor Matthew Pencharz asking them install the buses on every route running through Brixton Road and Streatham High Road.

A petition has also been launched, which you can sign here.

Lambeth Council is also lobbying to be included in the London Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2020; the proposal currently only covers the existing congestion charge zone.


  1. Cllr. Braithwaite is also ignoring that TfL have specified low-emission hybrid buses for busy route 109, which entered service on 31st January, and for route 415 from 14th February.

  2. Councillor Brathwaite is right about these buses but only to a point. I notice she only wants the buses that go up Brixton Hill and along Streatham High Road. These routes along with those that serve Herne Hill already have the vast majority of new buses (as can be seen in the picture behind her of the 196 that comes via Hene Hill). There are only a couple of routes up Streatham that have older buses, most being 11, 12, 13 and 14 plates.

    I notice she doesn’t offer a mention thos buses that serve Tulse Hill and beyond. On these routes there is not one new bus. Routes 415, 432 and 2 all run old buses at least nearly all over 10 years old, 01, 02,03 and 04 plates. I think one has a W plate -that must be nearly 20 years old. There was one solitary new bus on the 2 route but I haven’t seen it in ages, probably on another route. Pollution does not stop at Brixton Hill or Streatham it affects us all including residents, school children and cyclist going up Tulse Hill. Lambeth Council and Councillors would do well to lobby for cleaner buses that travel through Brixton irrespective of whether they go up Brixton Hill or Tulse Hill. She should try a ride on a Tulse Hill bus right old rackety things with noisy engines, poor heating in winter – more than just spewing out filthy fumes.

    • Whoops, I have just re-read the article and it mentions every route on Brixton Road, it still needs to be clarified though that this also means Effra Road and Tulse Hill as the article does also mention Streatham High Road yet most buses that travel there also serve Brixton Road. This still does not alter the fact that Tulse Hill buses are all old on all its routes.

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