Back in 2014 the FTA was calling for Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, to introduce some incentives for haulage companies
to switch to more modern Euro VI lorries sooner rather than later in view of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone which comes into effect in September 2020.
indicated that it would be a good idea to take older lorries off the road sooner rather than wait for the ULEZ.
The details of the new ULEZ have now been released and not only are there no incentives for haulage firms to switch to newer, cleaner lorries but it looks like no heavy goods vehicles currently on the road today will be able to legally enter the zone without incurring a charge.
Any lorry or diesel powered van or minibus (Category N1) registered before September 2016 will be subject to a charge.
For lorries a charge of £100 for every day they travel in the new ULEZ, for N1 category vehicles there is a £12.50 daily charge in the zone.
The new ULEZ will be within the current congestion charging zone, however, unlike the current congestion charge zone, charges will apply 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.
Residents living within the zone will be given a 36 month grace period, after that period they will become liable for the daily charge if their vehicle does not meet the ULEZ standards.
The scheme will not doubt trigger differences in opinions due to the benefits of cleaner air against the practically for hauliers being able to deliver goods to the countries capital.
To think that all hauliers needing to use the ULEZ would need to use a virtually new vehicle costing tens of thousands of pounds just to meet criteria just isn’t realistic.
You can see the full list of vehicle standards here.
From September 2020, all cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will need to meet exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards), or pay a daily charge, when travelling in central London.
The ULEZ standards are in addition to any Congestion Charge or Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charges already applied. The area covered by the ULEZ is the same as the current Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ). It will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including weekends and public holidays.
The ULEZ will cover the same area as the Congestion Charge zone, which is identifiable by road signs showing where it applies. There will be no barriers or toll booths. Cameras will read vehicle number plates as they are driven within the zone to check against our database.*
If the vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards and the daily charge is not paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued payable by the registered owner or operator. This penalty is in addition to any CC or LEZ penalties received. For motorcycles, cars, vans and minibuses this will be £130 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days). For HGVs, coaches and buses this will be £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days).
With margins in the industry already tight and clients always looking to cut costs it is hard to see how smaller haulage operators will be able to retain their clients with these added costs.
Some people will view these charges as just another way for the Government to fine hauliers. With all the added legislation, safety equipment and costs to deliver goods to London perhaps we will see less and less hauliers willing to deliver there?