In a bid to bring cleaner air to London’s millions of residents and visitors, the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was introduced in 2008, and it has proved to be a successful initiative. At the beginning of 2012, the parameters of the requirements will be changing, and many companies have so far failed to heed the warnings from Transport for London (TfL).
The city has had a major pollution issue for many decades, and even into the 21st century things didn’t seem to be getting any better. Therefore, the scheme was instigated with a view to encouraging companies of all shapes and sizes to be more aware of their vehicle emissions. Those that failed to meet the requirements would be charged a fee to enter London.
Definitely time for a change
According to TfL, pollution accounts for around 1,000 premature deaths every year in and around London, a staggering statistic when you consider there has been some degree of clean air legislation in place for many decades. Even those who were against the establishment of the zone realised that something really had to be done.
The implementation of the zone was a major project in itself, requiring vast quantities of road signs, leaflets and a major advertising campaign. As is always the case in such matters, the public, as well as the business community, took a little time to get used to the idea. Nowadays, regular visitors to London are all too aware of what’s required of them.
Are you in the zone?
Virtually the whole of Greater London is included in the scheme, which is now the world’s largest low emission zone. The M25 motorway, however, is not part of it, even on the sections that are within the borders of the Greater London region. Some sections of the M1 and M4, as well as parts of Heathrow, also come under the agreement.
In 2012, the scheme will be extended to include such vehicles as larger vans and minibuses, so if your company is likely to be affected by this you should be checking TfL’s website to see what to do next. Failing to meet the requirements of London’s low emission zone could be a seriously expensive mistake.
David Rice is a UK-based writer who travels into London on a regular basis. He writes for car leasing company Nationwide Vehicle Contracts .