Monday, 21 May 2007

World's largest 'Low Emission Zone’

Ken Livingstone, Greater London’s Mayor, has approved plans for the ‘World's largest Low Emission Zone’ on May the 3rd 2007, to be launched in February 2008.

The stated aim is to reduce harmful emissions from the most polluting (large diesel vehicles)lorries/trucks, coaches and buses by ‘encouraging’ operators to clean up their fleets. Sounds ok so far...

Initially the Low Emission Zone will apply to lorries/trucks over 12 tonnes.

Broadening in scope by July 2008, to take in lighter lorries/trucks, buses, coaches, and other other heavy vehicles.

How is this all to come about? Surprise, surprise - an enormous charge/tax of £200 for each day vehicles that don’t meet the standards enter the zone.

You can register your vehicle, but don’t worry if you don’t, as Transport for London (TfL) will use data you previously provided for other reasons to other agencies and organisations such as:

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

to decide if your vehicle meets the emissions standards.

There is no real mention of the possible economic costs of imposing the zone. It is difficult to imagine that the costs of becoming compliant will not be substantial and in the end, be passed on to those who live and work in London.

More disturbing still is the harvesting of information, previously provided to others for entirely different purposes (presumably in confidence), to be used against the providers.

Also the fact that, if TfL decide, based on the information, that you are a polluter - even if you are not, you will have to prove it.

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