The second phase of London’s Low Emission Zone came into effect this morning meaning lorries over 3.5 tonnes, buses and coaches driving in the zone must meet an emissions standard of Euro III for particulate matter to avoid a daily charge of £200.
Transport for London say the scheme is necessary to improve air quality and improve public health. It’s estimated that the poor quality of London’s air causes the premature death of 1,000 people each year.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: ‘Londoners and visitors to our great city deserve to breathe air of the highest possible quality; not splutter on a smog of poisonous fumes belching from the exhausts of buses and lorries.”
Johnson said the initial phase of the scheme which stared in Februart had been a success commenting “the majority of lorries that were affected by phase one of the Low Emission Zone have cleaned up their act and meet the necessary standard.”
The Mayor said he hoped vehicle operators affected by the second phase “will already have followed their example.”
Owners of non-complying vehicles seen in the Zone are given a 28 day warning or ‘grace’ period to bring the vehicle into compliance effective from the date they are first seen driving within the zone, during this period no penalty charge will be issued.
The scheme is backed by environmental and health campaigners. Dr Keith Prowse, Chair of the British Lung Foundation, described the LEZ scheme as “another positive step in the right direction.”