From today, drivers of large vans, minibuses and other specialist diesel vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge to drive within London’s Low Emission Zone unless their vehicle meets new ‘Euro 3’ emission standards as part of new regulations being rolled out across the capital.
Typically, Euro 3 vehicles are those registered after 1 January 2002 and research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has shown that of the 3.57 million vans on UK roads at the end of 2010, 31.1% are not eligible to meet today’s new emission standards and of those, 37% (almost 85,000) are registered in London.
“It’s not only emissions that improve when owners and operators upgrade, fuel efficiency also gets better, returning real-world benefits on top of the LEZ savings,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “As a result of the new LEZ, SMMT anticipates a slight rise in commercial vehicle registrations, as owners and operators buy-into more efficient, compliant vehicles. The CV market has been strong throughout 2011 and it’s clear that those businesses and individuals running vans and trucks in the capital have already begun to renew their vehicles and we’ll be watching with interest how the market performs over the next few months.”
The LEZ will continue to apply to Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs) but from today the regulations will demand an increase from Euro III to Euro IV standards. Vehicles first registered as new on or after 1 October 2006 will meet the Euro IV standard, but the 2010 Motorparc shows that 32% nationally, and 29% in Greater London, do not meet the LEZ threshold.
Transport for London provides further detail and guidance on the London Low Emission Zone, the vehicles affected and options open to commercial vehicle operators at its website.