London’s Low Emission Zone is changing in 2012. Are you ready?

by BAR

The Low emission zone (LEZ) was launched in 2008 to deliver cleaner air for London. London’s air pollution levels are falling, but more needs to be done to protect the long term health of peopleliving and working in London. At the moment, vehicles need to meet the Euro III standard for the emission of particulate matter (PM). However, the LEZ emissions standards will become more stringent to meet EU legal targets.

From the 3 January 2012 Lorries will need to meet Euro IV and Larger vans will need to meet the Euro III emissions standard.

So even if your vehicle meets the current standards, you may need to take action soon to meet the new standards in time and be able drive within the LEZ from the January 2012.

Check whether your vehicle is affected by the LEZ on the Transport for London (TfL)website.

What to do if your vehicle is affected by the London Low Emission Zone

If your vehicle is currently affected by the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ), you have a number of options. You can:

  • Download a copy of the Eligible Engines list from the Transport for London website (TfL) (PDF). This is a list of engines that comply with LEZ emissions standards until 2 January 2012. If your engine model matches exactly the details of the engines on the Eligible Engines list, you can take an emissions test at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and be granted either a Reduced Pollution Certificate or a Low Emissions Certificate which will enable you to drive without a charge in the zone until 2 January 2012. From 3 January 2012 these vehicles must be fitted with an approved full filter to drive within the zone without paying a daily charge.
  • Check whether your vehicle appears on the exemptions and discounts list on the TfL website.
  • Upgrade to a newer vehicle that meets the required emissions standards.
  • Reorganise your fleet to use LEZ-compliant vehicles within the London LEZ.
  • Rent a vehicle
  • Pay the daily charge which is £200 for lorries and £100 for vans and drive within the LEZ.
  • Avoid travelling in the LEZ. Alternative routes are available and the M25 is excluded from the LEZ. You can view a map of the London LEZ area on the TfL website.
  • Modify your vehicle to meet the emissions standard by fitting a cleaner engine – or fitting an approved filter – and taking an emissions test. A list of approved filters is published on the TfL website. Please note that only vehicles fitted approved full filters will meet the LEZ standards from 3 January 2012.

Modifying your vehicle to reduce emissions

You can improve the emissions standards of your vehicle so that you do not have to pay the daily Low Emission Zone (LEZ) daily charge. There are several ways to modify your vehicle, including:

  • Fitting a cleaner replacement engine that meets or exceeds the relevant LEZ standard for your vehicle. Replacing an older engine with a newer, cleaner one can give similar emissions benefits to replacing the vehicle.
  • Fitting an approved filter. A filter can be fitted in the exhaust pipe to reduce emissions of particulate matter. Partial filters trap less particulate matter than full filters but can still improve the Euro standard of an engine by one Euro standard for particulate matter.  Vehicles fitted with partial filter will only meet the relevant LEZ standard until 2 January 2012. From 3 January 2012 all approved filters will be full filters.  Any vehicles fitted with partial filters will need to have these replaced with full filters prior to 3 January 2012 to continue to drive within the zone without paying a daily charge.
  • Converting to an approved alternative fuel.  This could include less polluting fuel types such as liquid petroleum gas or an approved liquefied/compressed natural gas engine with spark ignition. Vehicles converted to any other fuels or that run on bio diesel are not deemed to meet the required LEZ emissions standards.

<span style=”color:red;”>Important: </span>  If you wish to convert your vehicles to run on LPG you will need to usean approved LPGA Conversion Centre. Please be aware that the method of storageof LPG is very specific as LPG can represent significant risks. You will needto store LPG in line with all current and appropriate legislation and considersite safety at all times. Details of legislation and safe storage can be foundon the HSE website

Transport for London (TfL) only acceptsmodifications that have been supplied by an accredited supplier. Readinformation on fitting approved pollution abatement equipment and approvedsuppliers on the TfL website.

Next steps

Once you have modified your vehicle, you’re ready to book a Low Emissions Certificate (LEC) or Reduced Pollution Certificates (RPC) test with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).If the vehicle passes the physical inspection and the free acceleration smoketest, then VOSA will immediately issue an LEC or RPC. These certificates mustbe renewed annually. Each test costs £32.

In some instances, your fitter may be a VOSA Authorised Examiner (AE). In this case they will complete the required tests atthe point of fitment and send VOSA the required information. An RPC or LEC willthen be issued to you in the post. The AE can only provide this service in theyear you have your vehicle modified: in all subsequent years you must visit aVOSA test centre to have your certificate renewed.

VOSA will inform TfL that a certificate has beenissued for your vehicle but it can take up to 10 days for TfL to update theirdatabase so if you are intending to drive within the LEZ in the meantime youshould pay the daily charge.

To find out moreabout getting an RPC or LEC, Visit the VOSAwebsite

For further information please contact: commercial@bar.co.uk