Is Your Business Prepared For The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone?

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Is Your Business Prepared For The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone?

Posted on 4th Dec 2018

Things are changing in the Capital. From April 2019 new emissions legislation will add to the costs of busy transport companies who make regular trips to central London. These increases will be especially acute for those whose truck fleet is especially old.

The current ‘T-Charge’ that operates in central London is to be expanded to cover all areas within the North and South Circular roads by October 2021. It will be known as the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone or ULEZ.

The T-Charge

Since October 2017, an additional ‘T charge’ has been levied on top of the congestion charge for older polluting vehicles within central London. Currently, the T-Charge operates Monday - Friday, 7am - 6pm in line with the congestion charge area. Notwithstanding, this still adds £10 for ‘dirty’ vehicles entering central London within these times.

The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

London Mayor Sadiq Khan brought forward the implementation of the ULEZ legislation to reduce the dangerously high levels of NOx and fuel particulates that are having a detrimental effect on the health of many Londoner’s. Kahn spoke plainly when introducing the new measures stating:

'London's lethal air is one of the biggest health challenges of this generation. We can't continue breathing in air so toxic it harms children's lung development and causes chronic illness and premature death.’

The new ULEZ legislation, to be introduced in April 2019, extends the anti-pollution regime and the costs for driving in the current congestion zone.

This includes making the ULEZ charge payable 24/7 365 days a year. From April 2019, diesel cars older than Euro 6 (2015), or petrol cars older than Euro 4 (2006) will be required to pay the additional £12.50 emissions levy.

For commercial vehicles, the ULEZ is particularly stringent. Large commercial vehicles typically over 3.5 tonnes will need to be Euro VI (2014 or later) compliant. Fall outside this standard and the daily charge increases to an eye-watering £100. And while older retrofitted vehicles may be made compliant, strict inspections will be required under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

In October 2021, the regime then stiffens considerably, as the ULEZ charges extend to the North and South circular roads. Estimates indicate that 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries will be affected by the new ULEZ standards every day.

A network of plate recognition cameras will monitor payment and compliance and penalties for not paying the charge on time will be up to £1000.

 

Business Preparation

For busy transport companies who currently make regular trips into central London, some fundamental changes will be required. Use of Euro 6/VI class vehicles is a top priority to avoid hefty charges. Further to this, you can check all your vehicles emission standards to ensure they are ULEZ compliant here .

Driver training on the ULEZ and how to comply with the scheme will be essential to minimise costs and avoid penalties. This will be especially important when the ULEZ zone extends to the North and South circular roads in 2021.

With just under three years to the full scheme, it gives fleet and dispatch managers time to plan how they can best work with the new legislation to avoid unnecessary extra costs.

One approach may be to start to embrace the innovations that commercial body builders Truckcraft Bodies are developing. For example, their new 3.5 tonne vehicles fitted with TRAILAR solar technology would be very ULEZ-friendly. These vehicles will not only comply with the current scheme but also offer enhanced efficiency, lower emissions and cheaper running costs overall.

Don’t be in any doubt, the costs for commercial vehicle deliveries in the Capital is on the rise. Perhaps then, adoption of a new class of vehicles like those being developed by Truckcraft Bodies will be your best opportunity to offset these higher, but environmentally necessary, charges for operating in London.

If you are looking to upgrade your fleet to comply with the new ULEZ standards, then TCB can assist with this process and please contact the sales team on 0161 304 9404 or visit the website for more details.