Oldest HGVs to pay £300 daily fee to enter Greater London from October 2020

 

Older HGVs will face fines of up to £300 to enter the Greater London area from 26 October 2020, mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed today (8 June).

Following consultation, the mayor has announced he is to tighten the emissions requirement for the existing London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) from Euro-4 to Euro-6 for vehicles over 3.5-tonnes.

This will see Euro-4 and Euro-5 trucks paying a daily fee of £100 to enter the existing LEZ area, and Euro-3 and older paying £300.

The mayor is also extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) area up to the North and South Circular roads from 25 October 2021, following its initial central London rollout on 8 April 2019.

While the ULEZ expansion will not affect HGVs, which will already be covered by extended LEZ regulations, it will require cars and vans to be Euro-4 petrol or Euro-6 diesel or pay a £12.50 daily charge,

Both schemes will operate 24 hours, all-year round and be in addition to the current Congestion Charge.

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the existing central London zone.

An estimate of 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries has been given by the mayor’s office for those that might be affected by the new plans.

The mayor said the expansion of the two schemes will reduce air pollution by as much as 80%, with only 4% of roads in outer London expected to be exceeding legal air quality limits in 2021.

Khan said: “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action. Air pollution is a national health crisis and I refuse to stand back as thousands of Londoners breathe in air so filthy that it shortens our life expectancy, harms our lungs and worsens chronic illness.”

The FTA and RHA both urged the mayor to delay the tightening of any emissions schemes to enable operators time to upgrade their fleets.

 

Licence curtailment for Welsh operator after AdBlue cheating

 

A Welsh operator that fitted AdBlue cheating devices to at least 20 vehicles in its fleet has had its licence curtailed. 

Its transport manager Dafydd Price Thomas, who is also a director, has been disqualified indefinitely as transport manager. The firm has lost its professional competence pending the appointment of a new transport manager.

Gwynedd Environmental Services holds a standard national licence for 25 vehicles and 25 trailers but this will be cut to 10 vehicles for three months from 17th June.

A Welshpool public inquiry (PI) heard that in August last year an S-marked prohibition was issued against one of the company’s vehicle’s for having an AdBlue emulator. Nearly three months later an unannounced visit to the company’s premises found that there were approximately 20 vehicles operating with cheat devices.

The company told the DVSA that the devices had been fitted to overcome technical difficulties with emissions warning systems. It denied any intention to deceive and said that the cost of putting the emulators in was greater than any savings made. It admitted that not removing the devices was a failing.

For the PI the firm was asked to provide “written evidence confirming where and when the emissions devices were installed, including the paperwork showing the costs”. It was also asked for maintenance records showing the devices being installed. 

Some paperwork was sent but the written decision of the PI observed that “there was no clear schedule or invoices linking the emissions emulators to 20 plus specific vehicles fitted with the devices”.
At the inquiry the company accepted the evidence of the DVSA in its entirety.

In his conclusions DTC Anthony Seculer said that he found company’s evidence on the fitting of the cheat devices “entirely unsatisfactory”.  

He added: “The very name of the company, Gwynedd Environmental Services, demonstrates that environmental issues must be at the core of their existence so to suggest that ignorance and naivety are at the root of their failings in this case defies common sense and reasonable belief.”

Seculer added: “The operator company has engaged in cheating of environmental regulations over a three year period. That cheating continued in approximately 20 vehicles from an authorised fleet of 25, for 82 days after the detection of the first emulator device. 

"The operator company’s actions risk harm to the environment and public health, including life expectancy in the long term.  The effect on fair competition is not just reflected in the financial savings in purchasing AdBlue, which it is submitted by the operator’s representative is insignificant in this case. 

"It is also reflected in the savings in maintaining a properly functioning vehicle emissions warning system and remedying any faults in levels of pollutants being emitted. Environmental cheating on this scale fundamentally undermines public confidence in the road haulage industry as well.”

In addition to the licence curtailment, Seculer ruled that the company must “obtain a full independent audit of maintenance and traffic compliance systems, including tachographs and drivers’ hours, by 30th September 2018 and annually thereafter”.