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London to toughen crackdown on car emissions

The world’s first ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is on track to be introduced in London from September 7, 2020.

A final decision on the scheme is due this spring ahead of a a five-year window in which to ensure cars and light commercial vehicles meet air quality standards and avoid paying to enter the ULEZ charge, which is expected to mirror the existing London congestion charge zone in terms of geography.

Transport for London (TfL) is analysing the results of its recently concluded public consultation on the scheme and will then make recommendations to the mayor Boris Johnson.

He will then make a decision on whether to confirm the scheme order, with or without modifications to that outlined in the consultation document. If introduced, the ULEZ will operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

TfL says that in giving businesses and public sector organisations five years’ notification of introduction of the ULEZ it anticipates that “many vehicles will already be compliant”, with fleets having gone through replacement programmes.

It is proposed that ULEZ standards for cars, small and large vans and minibuses will adhere to Euro4 emissions standards for petrol-engined models, which have been on sale for many years, and Euro6 for diesel.

All new cars registered from September 1, 2015 must meet the Euro6 standard with all new light commercial vehicle registrations required to from September 1, 2016. However, a number of manufacturers already have Euro6 compliant vehicles on sale.

A vehicle that does not meet the ULEZ standard will be able to enter the zone but a proposed daily charge of £12.50 will apply.

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