London operators to face a triple air quality challenge after Sadiq Khan’s proposals

New London mayor Sadiq Khan has dealt freight operators a triple whammy of air quality proposals for vehicles entering the capital, only one week after taking up his position at City Hall.

A pending consultation is to include a series of measures to drive down harmful emissions from road transport across the capital.

These include extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the North and South Circular roads from its previously proposed reach within the Congestion Charging Zone, as well as bringing forward its roll-out to before 2020.

This will mean all vans and lorries will need to be Euro-6 to avoid paying a daily charge of £100 for HGVs and £12.50 for LCVs to enter the ULEZ.

From 2020, these same standards will also apply to HGVs across the whole of Greater London.

Khan also proposes an extra charge on the “most polluting vehicles” entering central London using the Congestion Charge payment and enforcement system from 2017, although no detail has been released as to the measure for this.

The FTA has slammed the proposals saying they would add “substantial cost to all London businesses” and even put some smaller firms at risk of closure.

Christopher Snelling, FTA head of national and regional policy, said: “Freight operators and the service industry could find themselves being charged extra for their vehicles before they have had any reasonable chance to upgrade.”

He added that the tipping point where such regulations become less problematic is around eight years after the latest Euro standard has been introduced and between one-third and half the fleet is compliant, and a buoyant second-hand market developed.

However, for lorries, Euro-6 only came in two-and-a-half years ago, and for large vans it does not start until September this year.

Snelling added: “If we are to avoid increasing costs for consumers, businesses will need significant financial help to adopt these standards this early. It is imperative that the mayor looks at carrots as well as sticks.”