Pollock raised the subject this weekend after receiving a letter from Transport for London (TfL).
From 3 January 2012, vans, minibuses, 4x4s and other diesel vehicles will be affected by the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for the first time. The LEZ is not the same as the Congestion Charge and runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you own this type of vehicle, it must meet Euro3 emissions standards to be driven within the LEZ without paying a daily charge. The typical daily charge is £100 with a non-payment fine of £500. The LEZ boundary is, essentially, the Greater London area enclosed by the M25.
click on map to enlarge
It doesn't matter whether your vehicle is used for commercial or private purposes - it will still need to meet the standards. Previously this only applied to lorries, buses, coaches and specialist heavy diesel vehicles however the range of vehicles affected considerably widens from next year.
For vehicles first registered before 1st January 2002:
- Vans, Motorised horseboxes, 4x4 light utility vehicles & Pick-ups that weigh >1.205t unladen to 3.5 GVW
- Motor caravans & Ambulances weighing between 2.5t - 3.5t GVW
- Minibuses (with more than 8 passenger seats) with 5t max GVW
These definitions include diesel T25s, most* T4s and some T5s which is going to make trips to the Ace Cafe a bit pricey! (*edited to correct)
Exemptions A small number of vehicles are entitled to an exemption from the Low Emission Zone (LEZ). These are:
- Specialist non-road going vehicles designed and built for mainly off-road use, but which may use the road for limited purposes (including agricultural and forestry tractors, mowing machines, agricultural and farm machinery and equipment, mobile cranes and road and building construction machinery).
- Historic vehicles built before 1 January 1973.
- Vehicles operated by the Ministry of Defence.
TfL list several options for vehicles that don't meet the emission limits, these include:
- Fit a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) - approx cost £1000 - £3000
- Replace with a LEZ compliant vehicle (!)
- Convert to gas
- Pay the daily (£100) charge - £200 if you stay out after midnight.