Larger vans and minibuses required to meet Low Emission Zone standards from January 2012

Posted: 20 September 2010 | Transport for London (TfL) | No comments yet

TfL announced that from 3 January 2012 larger vans & minibuses will be included in the Low Emission Zone to help deliver cleaner air…

TfL announced that from 3 January 2012 larger vans & minibuses will be included in the Low Emission Zone to help deliver cleaner air...

Transport for London (TfL) today announced that from 3 January 2012 larger vans and minibuses will be included in the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) to help deliver cleaner air for Londoners.

Following a statutory public consultation the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that from 3 January 2012 larger vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles* must meet a Euro III standard for particulate matter (PM), in order to drive, free of charge, in the Low Emission Zone.

Road transport emissions are the largest source of PM pollution – which produces tiny airborne particles – in the Capital with larger vans responsible for 21 per cent of these emissions and 10 per cent of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

The number of larger vans are also forecast to grow by 30 per cent by 2031.

Tough recession

These vehicles were originally due to be included in the LEZ from 4 October 2010.

The deferral by the Mayor to January 2012 has given owners and operators of the estimated 70,000 non-compliant vehicles more time to make the necessary changes during a tough recession.

The Mayor will continue to encourage vehicle manufacturers to explore options such as incentive packages to help people to replace their vehicles to avoid fines.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s Transport advisor, said: ‘The Mayor is committed to making London the best big city in the world and therefore we must tackle the crucial issue of cutting pollution.

Extra time

‘This is why he is keen to put in place measures to dramatically improve London’s air quality.

‘Pressing ahead with including the most polluting larger vans and minibuses in the Low Emission Zone is an important part of the comprehensive package of measures we are introducing to cut pollution in order to meet and exceed legal standards.

We have given those drivers who will be affected by these changes extra time in order to get their vans and minibuses up to scratch in what has been tough financial times.’

Nick Fairholme, Acting Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement, said: ‘The move to January 2012 gives operators an extra 15 months to take their planned course of action to ensure they meet the new standards.

Significant improvements

TfL is working with operators and owners to make sure their vehicles meet the emission standards rather than pay the daily charge.

‘Including these vehicles in the Low Emission Zone will deliver a significant improvement to the polluting emissions from vans and minibuses and forms part of a broader package of measures to further clean up the capital’s air.’

There will also be changes for operators of HGVs, buses and coaches that have been subject to the LEZ emissions standards since 2008.

From 3 January 2012 they will be required to meet a tighter standard of Euro IV for PM to deliver a further reduction in emissions from these vehicles.

Sustainable measures

The Government faces large fines of potentially millions of pounds from the European Union if legal air quality targets are not met across the UK.

Earlier this year, the Mayor consulted on his draft air quality strategy – ‘Clearing the Air’ – which outlines a comprehensive package of long-term sustainable measures, in addition to those already under way, targeting the biggest sources of pollution to clean up London’s air.

It identifies that London is on track to meet PM10 legal limits by 2011 and outlines steps to tackle NOx.

The Mayor is investing £250m a year on measures to tackle air quality including record levels into cycling, increasing the number of hybrid buses, supporting the mainstream use of electric and other low emission vehicles and the New Bus for London which will be less polluting than traditional diesel vehicles.

Specialist vehicles

He is also proposing age limits for taxis with the aim that by 2020 that all new cabs are zero-emission.

For more information, visit:

* The Low Emission Zone will affect a number of diesel-engined specialist vehicles derived from larger vans and minibuses, such as motor caravans and light utility vehicles.

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