LEZ – Are you ready yet?
WITH less than eight weeks to go until the 4 February 2008 deadline when the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) comes into effect, the Freight Transport Association is urging operators to ensure their fleets will be ready.
A recent review of readiness suggested that many operators are not yet clear about the way forward, and the FTA has warned that if operators decide to order new vehicles, they may be cutting it a bit fine. However, other options are available.
Before considering spending money on new vehicles or abatement equipment, the FTA says operators of Euro 1 and Euro 2 vehicles should consult the eligible engines list. Vehicles with eligible engines just need to pass an inspection and smoke opacity test to obtain a Low Emission Certificate (LEC). Some vehicles may also be eligible for a Reduced Pollution Certificate (RPC), which carries the additional benefit of VED savings.
The Association says even operators who are not planning to take vehicles into London may want to consider booking in for an LEC test if they have an eligible engine, to increase their resale value and possibly benefit from lower VED.
Operators of vehicles that are not on the eligible engines list will need to fit abatement equipment.
The FTA’s regional policy manager for London, Natalie Chapman, said: ‘Whatever operators decide to do, they need to get on with it as the start of the scheme is looming and there is not much time left. Nearly 4,000 certificates have already been issued, but the availability of test slots will become tighter as the start date looms.’
She added that many operators have found that their vehicles are eligible for LEC’s and have made significant savings on their original compliance cost estimates.