New London Emission Zone regulations are causing panic amongst fleet owners as suppliers of retrofit systems are struggling to deal with growing demand.
Many fleet owners that operate in and around the LEZ are leaving it late to get their vehicles retrofitted to comply with the Euro IV standard for particulate matter and face hefty fines when travelling into the capital.
Bedfordshire based Statham’s Motor Engineers, are working hard to upgrade vehicles and have been bombarded with daily enquires from panicked fleet owners who still aren’t sure whether to get retrofit systems installed or replace their vehicles with compliant models.
Owners John and Samantha Statham, realise that small businesses are set to lose money and time because of the new LEZ regulations and are doing all they can to meet the demands of affected fleet owners.
John said: "We’re working extremely hard to prepare quotes, update our supplier and customers to install retrofit systems so that businesses can continue to work in London without facing fines.
"Small businesses and van fleet operators short of money are going to suffer; many fleet owners have left it late and expect the exhaust and filter system to be fitted within five minutes but it doesn’t work like that.
"There is a lot of technical information required by suppliers to ensure they send us the correct systems otherwise many vehicles face further problems.
"Once the exhaust is fitted, we have to program it using laptops so customers get texts alerts regarding the system."
Transport for London (TfL) will not penalise non-compliant operators if they can supply proof that they have ordered retrofit systems ahead of the 3rd January deadline.
Despite the extended deadline, Samantha feels that the TfL could do more to help non-compliant operators and hopes that suppliers can double their efforts to get systems out quickly.
Samantha added: "Many fleet owners are complaining about the lack of information they’ve received from the TfL as the rules are very confusing, not only for fleet operators but for suppliers and us.
"We are dealing with the enquiries really well and are working hard to fulfil the month-end deadline."