Cleaning up London’s air

The Mayor has called on owners of around 150,000 vehicles, including a significant number of large vans that will be affected by new air quality standards coming in January 2012, to prepare for the changes to the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and avoid fines.
From 3 January 2012 approximately 72,000 larger vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles will have to meet a Euro 3 standard for particulate matter, in order to drive within the LEZ free of charge and avoid fines. Owners of larger vans who do not meet the required emissions standards by 3 January 2012, and who drive within Greater London will have to pay a £100 daily charge or risk a £500 penalty.
Nick Fairholme, TfL’s Acting Director of Congestion Charging and Traffic Enforcement, said: “With the forthcoming changes to the Low Emission Zone taking effect from January 2012, owners and operators of some larger vans will have almost a year to take action to ensure they meet the new standards.
“We are working with operators and owners to make sure their vehicles meet the emissions standards rather than pay the daily charge. Including these vehicles in the Low Emission Zone will deliver a significant reduction in the polluting emissions and forms part of a broader package of measures to further clean up the Capital’s air.”
Larger vans and minibuses were originally due to be included in the LEZ from 4 October 2010, however, the Mayor took the decision, following public consultation, to defer the introduction in tough economic times to give the owners and operators of the estimated 72,000 non-compliant vehicles, many of which are smaller businesses and charities, more time to make the necessary changes.
The Low Emission Zone was introduced in 2008 and aims to improve air quality by deterring the most polluting vehicles from driving in London. The scheme covers most of Greater London and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Affected vehicles must meet certain emissions standards in order to drive within the zone without charge.

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