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New ULEZ pollution charge launches in London

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has come into force in central London from Monday 8th April, with around 40,000 vehicles a day expected to be affected by the new charge.

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Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 8 April 2019 | 0 min read

As a trucks operator, what you need to know?
  • Vehicles can be checked using TfL's online checker this applies to London only
  • Lorries with emission class Euro 6 will not be subject to ULEZ charges (other charges may apply)
  • Lorries with emission class Euro 5 or below will be subject to ULEZ charges of £100 per day within relevant zones (as well as other charges)
  • If your vehicle does not meet the required ULEZ standards you can pay any daily ULEZ, LEZ and/or Congestion Charge online or fit emissions reduction technology certified by Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation
  • ULEZ is expanded to cover the entire area between the North and South Circular roads by 2021, to ensure London's air will be compliant with legal limits by 2025
Transport for London (TfL) will be charging more for drivers of older, more polluting vehicles to enter the congestion zone at all times. They hope this will reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital. This will impact hauliers as lorries are required to meet the Euro 6 standards, or be hit with a charge to £100 a day.
ULEZ was approved in 2013 by the previous mayor, Boris Johnson. The current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan brought ULEZ forward a year, as he believes it is "important we make progress" in order to tackle London’s toxic air. Mr Khan has said London's air pollution was a "public health emergency" and it is the "poorest Londoners that suffer the worst quality air", which is why London are taking big steps to cleaning up. However the Road Haulage Association claim the ULEZ ‘is punishing the very industry responsible for maintaining the economy of the nation’s capital.’ With the average working life of an HGV being around 12 years, the RHA argue that it is out of the question for many operators to replace their Euro 5 trucks with the cleaner engine Euro 6 models - especially considering Euro 6 trucks only came into the market in September 2014. “Hauliers still running Euro V [5] trucks are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett. “Profit margins are already tight – a charge of £100 per day to deliver into London will completely wipe out their already tight profit margins and make new vehicle acquisition impossible. “Only about 50 percent (of HGVs delivering into London) meet the latest emission standards. If they are priced off London’s streets then the businesses they service will in turn have no choice but to increase their prices. It’s a lose, lose situation.” Figures from City Hall show over 60% of all vehicles driving through the charging zone in March 2019, were already ULEZ compliant. Check your vehicle with TfL with TfL now.

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