This week, Sadiq Khan announced plans to bring forward the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London from 2020 to April 2019.
The ULEZ charge for the most polluting vehicles operating in the same area as the congestion zone will now have to pay charges from 8th April 2019, in a move which has been met with criticism by some commentators.
The Mayor also confirmed that he plans to implement a London-wide ULEZ zone for heavy goods vehicles from 2020, whilst light goods vehicles would face an increased boundary to the North and South circular roads. The proposals also include plans to strengthen the emissions standard to cover particulate matter (PM) emissions from diesel vehicles in addition to nitrogen oxides (NOx).
A visual summary of the current proposals and changes
We have put together an infographic that provides a visual guide of the regulations affecting fleets operating in urban areas. It not only includes the current and proposed ULEZ measures and charges but other regulations you need to be aware of – including Clean Air Zones, the Safer Lorry Scheme, the Direct Vision Standard, noise pollution and CLOCS.
The reasoning for bringing forward ULEZ
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing.
‘Today I’m announcing bold proposals which are critically needed to safeguard Londoners from our air quality health crisis.”
Reactions to the proposals
A row has erupted over the fact that black cabs will be exempt from the new proposals, whilst emergency service vehicles will still have to comply – which will result in over 800 such vehicles being in breach of the ULEZ.
Other commentators and trade associations have expressed concern over the negative impact the plans will have on businesses.
For example, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) called the plans “troubling news for small businesses and specialist hauliers serving London”. Natalie Chapman, the 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.”
Why many are turning to flexible commercial vehicle hire
As the FTA have highlighted, the lack of second hand compliant vehicles will be a major concern for many businesses. We have already seen a large increase in enquiries from a number of businesses that have been following the planned proposals closely and are reconsidering their approach to vehicle acquisition in light of changing compliance measures and market uncertainty following Brexit.
Flexible commercial vehicle hire offers a way of meeting the new compliance measures with no upfront capital investment and favourable terms of business to suit your needs.
To find out more, speak to a commercial vehicle hire expert today.