London to impose stricter standards for polluting vehicles

Published: Saturday 30 June 2007

-- london has decided to impose stricter standards for polluting vehicles. Under the low emission zones (lez) programme coming into effect on February 4, 2008, lorry, bus and other coaches can be penalised if they fail to meet emission regulations.

On May 9, 2007 London mayor Ken Livingstone announced the plan to impose road user charges in the entire greater London area. The city's congestion charging zones (cczs) also fall within the lez. "In a world that has to be increasingly focused on tackling climate change, this move places environmental protection at the top of London's agenda," said Livingstone.

Designed by Transport for London (TfL), a government body, the emission standards are based upon European emission norms.Studies by TfL had identified the highest polluting vehicles in London which has the worst air pollution rates in the uk.

The system will function round the clock. The charges apply to all private and public vehicles, including old diesel lorries, large vans, mini buses, and specialised vehicles such as motor caravans. Cars, however, are spared from the road use charges within the lez.

Owners of the non-compliant heavy goods vehicles have to pay 200 (us $393) daily and those of large vans and mini buses have to shell out 100 everyday. The administration has called for operators to upgrade vehicles to reduce the amount of particulate matter in the vehicular exhaust or move to an approved alternate fuel like compressed natural gas.

From January 2012, all diesel-engined lorries, buses and coaches will be required to meet a baseline standard of Euro iv in order to drive within the lez at no charge. On June 1, London's Forum of Private Business said a number of small businesses may be left with a costly bill after the new proposals come into force.

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