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£300 fee to take your ‘dirty’ truck into London

Jun 16, 2017
London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s announcement last month that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge for non-compliant vehicles will be introduced in April 2019 will come as a bitter blow to many in the removals industry

Former Mayor Boris Johnson had indicated the charge would not be applied until September 2020.

Under the new rules, cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will need to meet strict exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge, when travelling into central London. In the case of HGVs, the charge will be £100 in addition to the current £200 Congestion Charge with a £1,000 fine for non-payment. Only vehicles with the latest Euro 6 compliant engines will escape the charge, meaning that older vehicles typically used by the moving industry will be hit hard.

In a press release issued by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London and the South East said, “We need to continue the improvement in London’s air quality which is happening anyway, but this regulation taking effect in 2019 will severely disadvantage small businesses working in the capital’s centre. The impact will be especially hard for van users, as by 2019 there will only be two and a half years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet – and no second hand compliant vehicles available for purchase at all.”

It is now planned that the zone will extend in 2020 to Greater London for HGVs and to Inner London for vans in 2021. Ms Chapman continued, “It is encouraging that this is not happening in 2019 as had been suggested: this shows the Mayor has listened to some of the concerns that had been raised. But the expansions of the zone will still increase the burden on business exponentially. We are calling for businesses based in the affected area to have access to a sunset clause, such as has been offered to private residents, allowing them greater time to comply with the change required without the need for unnecessary and potentially crippling additional charges for new vehicles.”

“Previously, the Mayor has called on the government to fund a scrappage scheme aimed at owners of older diesel cars and vans: we fully support him in that call and believe it is the place of national government to help prevent the cost burden to implement these measures falling on local authorities, businesses and residents. If such a scrappage scheme were created, it would give the Mayor the necessary room to introduce more flexibility to the London ULEZ, helping operators to avoid some of this unwieldy and unexpected burden on small businesses.”

Photo: London’s ULEZ will be introduced in April 2019, more than a year earlier than originally planned.

How the ULEZ charges will be enforced

The ULEZ will cover the same area as the London Congestion Charge zone – there will be no barriers or toll booths. Cameras will read vehicle number plates as they are driven within the zone and checked against the Transport for London database. If the vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards and the daily charge is not paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued and become payable by the vehicle’s registered keeper. The fine will be in addition to other penalties for non-payment of the LEZ or Congestion Charge.

Photo: Sadiq Kahn



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