On 8 April 2019, the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into effect covering the same area as the Congestion Charge and with stricter emissions standards for heavy vehicles than the existing Low Emission Zone (LEZ).
In July 2017, the Government published its plan to reduce roadside NO2 levels as part of which the authorities in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton were required to introduce CAZs by 2020. A large number of other urban local authorities had to produce local action plans, most of them on the basis of a single stretch of road that exceeds the mandated limits.
AdBlue is a chemical which reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines. Its use is essential for many vehicles to meet Euro 4 or better emissions standards. Following a crackdown by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Traffic Commissioners have been taking a strong line where operators have been fitting devices to avoid the use of AdBlue, including the revocation of licences and the disqualification of operators and transport managers. Michael Jewell reports on two recent cases and the view taken by the Traffic Commissioners.
Drivers and operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) have been warned that from this month (August 2017), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) examiners will be paying special attention to exhaust emission control systems during roadside checks. This is not — as has been reported in some places — a check on the actual emissions because that is not possible (apart from a visible check on smoke) on a roadside check but is a check to see that the fitted emission control devices have not been removed, disabled or modified to reduce their effectiveness. In this article, Richard Smith summarises the sort of things that DVSA examiners will be looking for and considers the problems of in-service emissions testing.
In this article, Richard Smith looks at the urgent issue of poor air quality and the legislative proposals intended to reduce the problem (such as the proposed changes to the Authorised Weight Regulations for HGVs) and considers options for operators when choosing vans and heavy vehicles with cleaner engines.
This year (2016), London exceeded the EU’s air pollution limits for the entire year in just eight days. Paul Clarke looks at proposals to clean up the capital city by successive London mayors, Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan.
Few people need convincing that we should cut pollution; most of the discussion focuses on ”how” rather than ”why” or ”if”. In fairness, there are still some who don’t accept the evidence for a link between pollution and climate change, but most of these people seem to agree that man-made pollution is unpleasant and probably avoidable, as Robin Dickeson reports in this article.