London Low Emission Zone
London Low Emission Zone (LEZ)
Are you ready! On the first day of 2012, the capital will see tougher limitations to the London Low Emission Zone. Drivers of some diesel vans and pickup trucks that do not comply with the new regulations could find that they are having to £100 PER DAY to drive into London. We have compiled a short guide to the new scheme and what it means to diesel commercial vehicle drivers.
What is the LEZ?
The LEZ was launched in London in 2008 to go some way to reducing the levels of pollution in the Capital. One of the principal reasons for introducing the LEZ was to force those diesel engine vehicles with a high level of pollution to become cleaner. This would have the benefit of lowering the amount of particulates (smog) in the atmosphere and ultimately to reducing pollution levels. Particulates are a form of air pollution that have an adverse effect on sufferers of asthma, heart and lung disease, as well as aggravating other respiratory illnesses and can even lead to premature death.
Heavy Goods Vehicles tend to be the worst offenders and although manufacturers of these HGV's have made significant improvements in the emission levels on these vehicles, pollution is still a huge issue.
With effect from the 1st January 2012, the levels of emissions that diesel vehicles must meet will need to fall considerably from their current levels. The changes in legislation will see vehicles having to meet much stricter emissions standards or face financial penalties.
What areas of London does the zone cover and when is it in operation?
The zone will extend to the vast majority of the Greater London area and drivers will find that a daily charge will be made on any vehicle which does not meet the revised emissions levels. The new charge will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including bank holidays, with the charging period running from midnight to midnight. This obviously means that if you were to enter the Low Emission Zone in any van or pickup truck that doesn't meet the new emissions levels at 11:45pm and leave at 1.15am the following morning you will end up paying for two days!
Which vehicles will be affected by the changes in January 2012?
From 1st January next year, drivers of larger diesel vans, diesel minibuses and other specialist diesel vehicles such as pickup trucks will be affected by the enforcement of the Low Emission Zone for the first time.
And - It won't make any difference whether your truck or van is used for commercial or for private purposes - the vehicle will still need to meet the new regulations.
The age and GVW of a diesel van or pick up truck will have a bearing on the level of emissions it produces. Drivers of vans or pickup trucks registered as new prior to Jan 1st 2002 and with an unladen kerb weight of 1.205 tonnes (up to a GVW of 3.5 tonnes) will NOT meet the new regulation from Jan 1st 2012. Drivers of these vehicles will end up paying the new daily charge. As a rule of thumb, any diesel vehicle must meet the Euro 3 standard for particulate matter emission.
To see whether your van or pickup truck meets the Euro 3 standard, you can access Transport for London's vehicle checker by clicking the web link here: