A London-based company is offering an alternative mass transportation mode that addresses some fears about coronavirus infection risks on public transit: a commuter service using open-topped buses. On-demand bus company Snap is currently testing a new offering that would ferry Londoners to and from work in some of the city’s 233 roof-less tourist buses. These are those double-decker vehicles with an open-air upper deck, used in cities worldwide to ferry sightseers about on “hop on, hop off” routes. Most of the London fleet is parked due to an absence of visitors; Snap is hoping to redeploy the open-topped tourist buses as Covid-safe pop-up transportation for locals, extending the pandemic-era trend of outdoor living to public transport.
Cows may soon be grazing freely across Hampstead Heath, a vast expanse of countryside in one of London’s wealthiest boroughs.
Six cows could be moved to an enclosure on the heath for a trial period in June in the first stage of the plan, a joint venture between the City of London Corp., the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the Heath & Hampstead Society conservation trust, the Times reported on Saturday. Conservationists are hoping that the plan will then be expanded and ultimately big herds will graze freely across large parts of the heath, controlling vegetation in a natural way, the newspaper said.
London may have the world’s most stringent rules against vehicle emissions by 2019, according to a proposal from Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Sadiq Khan issued the first “very high” air pollution alert of his eight-month tenure as London mayor, advising citizens to reduce physical exertion and avoid running outside.
The UK’s newest nature reserve was opened in east London over the weekend by Sir David Attenborough. Overshadowed by council tower blocks and swanky high rise developments, the 11 hectare (27 acres) site which includes a reservoir that supplies water to millions of Londoners, has become home to some of Britain’s more threatened birds including kingfishers, bitterns and Cetti warblers.
London has a dirty secret.
Levels of the harmful air pollutant nitrogen dioxide at a city-center monitoring station are the highest in Europe. Concentrations are greater even than in Beijing, where expatriates have dubbed the city’s smog the “airpocalypse.”
It’s the law of unintended consequences at work. European Union efforts to fightclimate change favored diesel fuel over gasoline because it emits less carbon dioxide, or CO2. However, diesel’s contaminants have swamped benefits from measures that include a toll drivers pay to enter central London, a thriving bike-hire program and growing public-transport network.
An unintended consequence of EU membership?