London announces HGV scrappage scheme six months before ULEZ starts30 September 2020

Photo: Greater London Authority

The mayor of London has launched a scrappage scheme for heavy goods vehicles operated by charities and small businesses in advance of the tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards, which will come into force on 1 March 2021.

The scheme offers grants of £15,000 to scrap a heavy vehicle and replace it with a compliant vehicle, or to retrofit diesel vehicles up to the cleanest Euro VI standards. More than 100 organisations have already pre-registered interest in the scheme, which will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Other businesses or charities are encouraged to apply early for a greater chance to benefit from the grants as funding is limited.

The heavy vehicle scrappage scheme follows the successful programme for small businesses and charities to scrap older, more polluting vans and minibuses that ran for 18 months. The scheme remains open for charities, given their vital work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The existing LEZ emissions standards set a limit for how much particulate matter (PM) a vehicle can emit in its exhaust gases. The new LEZ standards will require heavy vehicles to meet the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards for both PM and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in order to avoid the daily charge, rather than the Euro IV standard currently required of vehicles of this type. These standards were previously set to come in at the end of October 2020 but, in response to the impact of the pandemic, were delayed for at least four months.

The new, tougher LEZ standard coincides with the enforcement of TfL’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS)the same day. The DVS uses a safety permit system that assigns vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window. HGVs with a zero-star rating will be required to fit additional vehicle safety features.

Vehicle owners can check their compliance with the new LEZ emissions standards, due to come into force from 1 March 2021, by visiting or searching ‘LEZ’.

William Dalrymple

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