Sunday, 3 May 2015

Ultra-low emission zone for London from 2020 . . .


Ultra-low emission zone for London from 2020

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The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to press ahead with the launch of an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) for central London from 7 September 2020.

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will require vehicles to meet new emissions standards or pay a charge, as part of a drive to improve the health of the capital’s residents. The geographical area covered will be that of the existing congestion charge zone.

It will require HGVs, buses and coaches to meet Euro 6 standards (i.e. be registered from 1 January 2014, and therefore be six years old or less). Non-compliant vehicles in this category will pay a daily charge of £100.

For large vans and minibuses, the standard will be Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from 1 September 2016) and Euro 4 for petrol engines (registered from 1 January 2007). The daily charge for non-compliance for such vehicles will be £12.50.

“The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone is an essential measure to help improve air quality in our city, protect the health of Londoners, and lengthen our lead as the greatest city on earth,” said Boris Johnson.”

The prime minister David Cameron added: “I welcome this announcement which is a world first and great news for London, helping to enhance the quality of life and creating opportunities for companies who develop and manufacture this kind of technology.

“This will build on the UK’s strengths in low emission technology and the government is backing this initiative with £25 million of support.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, welcomed the scheme, saying it would: “play a key role in driving the market for ultra low emission vehicles in Europe’s leading mega city, and set a precedent not only in the UK but around the world.”

“SMMT supports this vision and wants to see London meet its air quality and climate change targets, while driving innovation and supporting jobs.”

“We are pleased to see the Mayor has recognised that the latest diesel technology has a place in an ultra low emissions zone. It is only by encouraging motorists to invest in the latest, lowest emission technology, regardless of vehicle or fuel type, that the Mayor’s vision be fully realised.”

But the Freight Transport Association warned that for the ULEZ scheme to be viable, the five-year lead time must not be reduced by any new mayor elected to run the capital in 2016’s elections, in order to avoid “serious difficulties for business.”

It also said that the geographical zone covered should not be expanded.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London at the association, said: “FTA want to see some help for those who will find it harder to comply as the second hand market for Euro 6 vehicles will not have fully matured by then, and unlike previous phases of the London Low Emission Zone, there will be no retrofit option available – essentially this means purchasing a brand new truck or van.”

She added: “FTA would also reiterate previous calls to incentivise companies currently operating Euro 6 commercial vehicles by offering them a discount to the congestion charge.”

“This would mean that they could ensure that fleets move their newest and cleanest vehicles to the capital, giving those living and working in central London some of the benefits of the ULEZ immediately.”

In addition to enforcing the ULEZ, Transport for London has made a commitment to ensure that all 300 single-deck buses operating in central London are zero-emission by 2020, and that all 3,000 double-deckers will feature hybrid technology.

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