Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is accelerating Londoners move to low emissions vehicles with the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) launched on 5 April 2019 a year ahead of schedule. But what effect will this have on Park Royal? Daily charges for driving a polluting vehicle in the zone, which operates 24 hours per day, run up to £100 for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs); that’s on top of existing charges introduced with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and the Congestion Charge, along with the £10 T-Charge coming in October this year.
Khan also wants to expand the ULEZ to the North and South Circular roads in 2021. The further expansion plans need to pass consultations first but if approved, even more Londoners could be ditching their diesel and petrol cars. ULEZ is designed to be a “strong deterrent” against driving polluting vehicles into the capital, but will start in the small area of the congestion-charge zone as it already has the infrastructure required to identify vehicles.
Case study: First Mile, Park Royal
The recycling service, First Mile introduced a more central depot in Park Royal to reduce the number of vehicles it uses. CEO Bruce Bratley says “having no vehicle impact pollution is better than any vehicle on the market,” and uses this philosophy to eliminate unnecessary trucks from its fleet. The business still requires some large collection vehicles, but has recently introduced cargo bikes for delivering bin bags to customers in central London, as well as electric vehicles. Where it does use diesel for heavy goods vehicles, it has ensured they are the newest available, and compliant with ULEZ.
Bruce says that they like to keep the fleet new, and renew vehicles every five years, but “accelerated purchasing by six months to comply with ULEZ.” They have also introduced a system on the vehicles to monitor driver behaviour, noting that driving aggressively, which results in more braking and accelerating too quickly, causes more emissions and the release of more PM2.5 as the brakes are worn down. Bruce would advise other businesses to focus on their supply first, and try to get more vehicles off the road.
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Information from TfL: