London LEZ reprieve
Transport for London has given truck owners more time to comply with the forthcoming Low Emission Zone, following problems with the supply of equipment.
The LEZ comes into force on 4 February. It requires owners of older trucks over 12 tonnes to fit diesel particulate filters, but the volume of demand for the filters has led to delays in supply.
Companies which do not comply will be fined but TfL has agreed to relax the rules following lobbying from the Construction Plant-hire Association.
The CPA warned that some of its members would not be able to provide enough compliant trucks to deliver equipment.
The CPA’s John Varcoe said: “We warned TfL that this would cause dire problems for hire companies, especially those based inside the LEZ, which depend entirely on daily deliveries.”
TfL said truck owners must “take all reasonable steps to comply, but we are aware that some operators who have ordered abatement equipment or new vehicles are still awaiting delivery from suppliers”.
TfL has agreed that any noncompliant vehicle entering the LEZ will trigger a warning letter to the owner, rather than a fixed charge. The owner will then have 28 days to comply and will not have to pay the daily charge in the interim.
But it also said that if owners can show that they have sought to comply already, by providing evidence of their order of a filter, they can apply to TfL for a full refund. The LEZ requires that trucks entering Greater London have Euro III engines or the equivalent.
Generally, trucks that have been bought within the past seven years will meet the standard but any older vehicle is likely to require particulate equipment.
Owners of lighter trucks, between 3.5 tonnes and 12 tonnes, have until July to comply.
Vans more than 1.5 tonnes have to have Euro III engines fitted by 2010.
For more details on how to comply, see www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/2537.aspx