To improve air quality, the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is being introduced in central London from 8th April 2019. What does this mean and how can you prepare?
From 8th April 2019, all vehicles coming into the ULEZ will need to meet tighter exhaust emission standards or otherwise pay a daily charge to travel within a ULEZ zone.
The ULEZ is designed to reduce exhaust PM (particular matter or ‘soot’) NOx (nitrogen oxide) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) emissions, making central London a safer and more pleasant environment to be in.
Here’s a short video from the Mayor of London explaining the importance of the ULEZ.
Those working in logistics will have known well in advance that the ULEZ is coming their way, however many businesses won’t have considered how it will impact them.
Here’s what you can expect from the ULEZ, and how to prepare:
Keep your fleet clean by utilising alternative fuels
Road transport is the biggest cause of NOx, NO2 and PM emissions damaging health in London. For this reason, it’s crucial to keep vehicles as clean as possible.
To keep your fleet clean, and therefore compliant with the new ULEZ standards, it’s worth exploring alternative fuel options such as electric and hydrogen vehicles. Remember that even if your vehicle meets the Low Emission Zone standards, it may not meet the new ULEZ standards. (Unsure whether your vehicle’s compliant? Check here.)
Transport for London offers a vehicle scrappage scheme supporting small businesses and charities as they prepare for the arrival of ULEZ. Please read here for further information.
Westminster City Council’s waste management fleet uses low emission vehicles and is therefore less polluting to our environment. For this reason, using our commercial waste services will improve your business’ green credentials immediately.
Preparing for the ULEZ: to comply or pay?
It’s obviously preferable for vehicle owners to comply with the new ULEZ standards in the interests of reducing pollution and improving health.
However, if this simply isn’t feasible for your business at this moment in time, you will need to pay a £100 daily charge (in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone (LEZ charge) to drive non-compliant vehicles into London’s ULEZ.
If you decide to pay the £100 daily charge, you will need to consider how you will offset this cost, for example by recharging this to customers.
Bear in mind that your suppliers may also have to increase their prices to cope with the new vehicle charges, which will have a knock-on effect on your business’ costs.
Avoiding further air pollution
The ULEZ is likely to move new, cleaner fleets into operation in central London, while old, non-compliant fleets will continue to be used outside of central London. However, moving the pollution somewhere else represents a new problem.
The ethical choice is to write off non-compliant vehicles altogether, although this is unrealistic for many operators. A better way to approach this is to question whether you need the transport in the first place. If so, it’s worth considering if there is a better method and/or alternative route available to you.
Changing your commercial waste collection services is the quickest and easiest way to start making a difference now. Changing your waste provider to Westminster City Council will also help your business to reduce pollution.
Here are three key reasons to make the switch:
- Our vehicles are fitted with Eminox filters to reduce emissions and exceed ULEZ standards
- We use local waste facilities limiting haulage emissions and don’t send your waste to landfill
- We have a legal obligation to collect waste in every street, but other commercial waste providers duplicate what the City Council does. By using our services, you will be decreasing the number of unnecessary waste collection vehicles from other providers travelling in and out of Westminster immediately.