ULEZ to force operators to dig deep

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Operators will need to be Euro 6 compliant by 2019 or pay a daily charge of £100 per coach, bus or minibus

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given some more details of his proposals to reduce traffic pollution, by bringing forward the introduction date for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to 2019, and then to ultimately extend the standards to the whole of London.

The announcement has been met with concern by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).

Making the announcement is a speech at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Mr Khan said: “I am also calling on the Government to work with me and to take more action to tackle air pollution.  We can’t do this alone in London. 

“The Government should seize the spirit of the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act and pass new legislation fit for the 21st century. 

“This needs to provide new powers and legal protections to ensure that the existing legal limits for air pollutants are retained following Brexit.”

The public consultation, which takes the form of an online questionnaire, is light on detail, and is described by his office as “The first stage of the Mayor’s Clean Air consultation with later stages focusing on more detailed assessment around the £10 Emissions Surcharge (‘T-Charge’) and ULEZ. The next stage is due in the autumn.”

The ULEZ will apply to almost all vehicles, excluding taxis and private hire cars. It is unclear whether the previous dispensation granted by previous Mayor Boris Johnson to allow Euro 5 New Routemaster – 266 buses – to be exempt from the Euro 6 requirements.

The current LEZ – in the same central area as the Congestion Charging Zone – will be enhanced from 2017 to cover all vehicles (expect taxis), with a requirement for Euro 4, otherwise a £10 Emission Surcharge, which the Mayor is calling a T-Charge’ payment will be required on top of the Congestion Charge.

It is not clear what the figure for non-compliant coaches would be – it is currently £200 a day.

From 2019 a ULEZ will cover the same area, with the requirement of Euro 6.

From 2020 this will be extended for all vehicles to an area bounded by the North and South Circular roads.

However, for buses, coaches and lorries this will become London-wide – presumably within the existing London LEZ zone.

CPT’s Coaching Manager Andy Warrender said: “Following today’s announcement, CPT has reiterated its request for an urgent meeting with the Mayor of London and his advisors in order to present members’ grave concerns on the matter.

“CPT has already aired its views with officials from Transport for London and despite the welcome news of a delay to the implementation of the ULEZ  from 2018 to 2019, the industry remains extremely concerned that the Euro 6 standard will be extremely challenging, if not impossible, for operators to meet.

“We believe that in excess of 30,000 UK vehicles could be affected by these plans and even if it were economically viable to upgrade and retrofit older vehicles, there is currently no way of doing so.”

[Blob] To view the consultation visit www.london.gov.uk/cleanair