City of London puts the brakes on new diesel vehicle purchases

kade rechteroever

Public authority says it will no longer buy new diesel vehicles when older models need replacing 



The City of London Corporation has banned the purchase or hire of diesel vehicles for its business.

The public authority, which has a fleet of more than 300 vehicles, announced on Friday it will now no longer lease or purchase diesel models when older models need replacing.

Chris Bell, head of procurement at the City of London Corporation, said the move underlined how the organisation takes air quality “extremely seriously”.

“This agreement is a major step forward in our drive to protect the millions of London tourists, workers and residents from air pollution,” he said in a statement. “We are taking responsibility for the cleanliness of our fleet and encouraging the use of low and zero emission vehicles with our partners.”

The authority said it has reduced the NOx emissions from its vehicles by over 40 per cent and PM10 emissions by over 50 per cent since 2009, largely through a reduction of the size of its fleet and the purchase of newer and cleaner vehicles.

It added it is encouraging businesses to cut back on deliveries in the Square Mile and is promoting the use of hybrid electric cars.

However, the Corporation said it will continue to use types of vehicles that do not have a non-diesel alternative - such as tractors - until a clean alternative becomes available on the market.

The policy was backed by Clean Air in London founder Simon Birkett, who said the City of London is showing to Mayor Sadiq Khan and others in local and regional government that it is possible to effectively ban diesel vehicles.

“It’s no longer ‘if’ but ‘where’ and ‘when’ diesel will be banned,” he told BusinessGreen, adding that such bans should be supported by a massive investment in active travel and public transport.

Jocelyn Timperley
The Guardian 01-08-2016