Drivers of the most polluting larger vans and minibuses face being included in London’s Low Emission Zone from next January after Transport for London launched a statutory public consultation to expand the types of vehicles covered by the scheme.
In order to to avoid facing a daily fine for entering the Zone, vehicles would need to comply with the Euro III standard for particulate matter (PM).
TfL estimate that at present 70,000 non-compliant vehicles enter the Zone and say the proposed date, which has been deferred from an original inclusion date of October 2010, would allow owners sufficient time to ensure their vehicles meet emission standards.
Graeme Craig, Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement, said: “The proposed deferral of the Low Emission Zone phase affecting larger vans and minibuses to 2012, allows more time for owners and operators of vehicles to prepare for this change in what has been a challenging economic climate. Nevertheless, vans and minibuses are responsible for a significant proportion of the emissions that cause air pollution in London. This has a detrimental effect on people’s health, especially the most vulnerable such as children with asthma or those with respiratory conditions.
“While we are confident that London will meet European legal targets for particulate matter by 2011, including larger vans and minibuses in the Low Emission Zone from 2012 is an important part of a package of measures designed to ensure continued compliance with these targets and to further clean up the Capital’s air. We also need to take action to meet the more challenging European targets for nitrogen dioxide by 2015.”
The 6-week consultation will run until June 28th. Details of the consultation can be found on the TfL website.