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London launching Low Emission Zone

10 May 2007

The Mayor of London has approved plans for the implementation of a London-wide Low Emission Zone, to reduce emissions from the most polluting trucks, coaches and buses. The scheme, which will launch in February 2008, is the first in the UK and the largest in the world. It is estimated that by 2012 the Low Emission Zone will deliver emission reductions of around 16% in the area of London.

The emission standards for the Low Emission Zone are based on Euro standards. The base standard will be Euro III in order to drive within the Zone at no charge. The emission standard of a pre-Euro III vehicle could be improved by retrofitting it with a diesel particulate filter.

Operators of affected heavy vehicles that do not meet the Low Emission Zone emission standards (unless exempt or entitled to a 100% discount) will need to pay a charge of £200 for each day they are driven in the zone. The level of charge has been set in order to encourage operators to clean up their fleets.

From February 2008 the Low Emission Zone will apply to trucks over 12 tons. From July 2008 the Low Emission Zone will also apply to lighter trucks, buses and coaches between 3.5 and 12 t. From 2010 the Low Emission Zone will include heavier diesel-engine light goods vehicles and minibuses between 1.205 and 3.5 t.

Transport for London estimates that two thirds of all trucks and half of all buses and coaches driving in London would be compliant with the 2008 Low Emission Zone standards without any changes to current fleet management programs. The Zone is aimed at encouraging the clean-up of the remaining non-compliant vehicles.

Source: Mayor of London