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LEZ – Are you ready?

With less than eight weeks to go until the London Low Emission Zone kicks off, the Freight Transport Association is urging operators to ensure their fleets will be ready. A recent review of readiness suggested that many operators are not yet clear about the way forward. If operators decide to order new vehicles, they may be cutting it a bit fine, but there are other options available.

Before considering spending money on new vehicles or abatement equipment, operators of Euro 1 and 2 vehicles should consult the eligible engines list. Vehicles with eligible engines just need to pass an inspection and smoke opacity test to obtain a Low Emission Certificate (LEC). There are some vehicles that are also eligible for a Reduced Pollution Certificate (RPC) which carries the additional benefit of VED savings. Even operators who are not planning to take vehicles into London may want to consider booking in for an LEC test if they have an eligible engine to increase their re-sale value and possibly benefit from lower VED.

Operators of vehicles that are not on the eligible engines list will need to fit abatement equipment.

John Milicevic, Transport Manager for Smith's Metal Centres and member of the East of England Freight Council said, 'We are delighted with the results of our abatement equipment. As well as the VED discounts, I have peace of mind knowing that my fleet will not only be compliant when the scheme starts on 4 February, but also that my vehicles will be able to continue to operate in London when the scheme is tightened up in 2012.'

FTA's Regional Policy Manager for London, Natalie Chapman said, 'Whatever operators decide to do, they need to get on with it as the start of the scheme is looming and there is not much time left. Nearly 4000 certificates have already been issued, but availability of test slots will become tighter as the start date looms. Many operators have found that their vehicles are eligible for LEC's and have made significant savings on their original compliance cost estimates.'

The Eligible Engines list is available to download from FTA's website: www.fta.co.uk/lez

The Approved Device list is available to download from TfL's website: www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/vehicles/options/5074.aspx

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