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April 10 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

London’s ULEZ enacted to improve air quality

Operators reminded of charges for non-compliance with Euro 6 emission levels within central zone

£100 charge for non-compliant PCVs of over 5,000kg GVW to access ULEZ

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which mandates Euro 6 compliance in coaches and buses if a daily charge is to be avoided, went live on Monday (8 April) – but analysis by King’s College suggests that it will still take six years for the capital’s air quality to meet legal pollution limits.

Figures show that during March, 35,578 vehicles, or 39.1%, entering the area daily did not comply with ULEZ requirements and would thus be liable to pay the daily charge if they continued to enter after enaction of the ULEZ.

Coaches and buses with a GVW of over 5,000kg that do not meet ULEZ standards are subject to a £100 daily charge, which is payable on top of the existing levy where applicable for those that do not satisfy less-stringent LEZ levels. Minibuses of 5,000kg or below are charged £12.50.

Payment for non-compliant vehicles must be made by midnight of the next working day. If it is not, a penalty charge of £1,000 may be issued for PCVs with a GVW of over 5,000kg, which is halved if settled within 14 days; those figures are £160 and £80 respectively for minibuses with a GVW of 5,000kg or below.

Transport for London (TfL) says that 6,950 buses – 75% of the capital’s fleet and including all of those that operate into the ULEZ – now meet or exceed Euro 6 standards, and that by October 2020 all 9,200 will comply.

The ULEZ operates 24/7 and is described as “the world’s toughest vehicle emissions standard” by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Currently it captures the centre of London, but it will expand to the North Circular and South Circular roads in October 2021. The LEZ standard will be tightened to Euro 6 for PCVs from October 2020.

TfL’s website has a tool that uses the vehicle registration number to advise what charges (if any) will be payable, although under the LEZ some coach operators reported being issued with penalties for vehicles that were compliant. Advice was later issued that they check the V5 document to ensure that the Euro rating was correctly recorded.

I am surprised that Route One cannot distinguish between Euro 6 and Euro VI. While it may seem a pedantic point it gives the impression that author is not aware of the detail of this story.

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ADL 2019