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What the Ultra-Low Emission Zone means for London's construction companies 12th April 2019

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What the Ultra-Low Emission Zone means for London's construction companies

Construction companies in London will be facing new challenges this week, as the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) requirements came into force in central London on 8 April 2019. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year within the same area as the Congestion Charging zone, daily charges will be imposed on those who do not meet the requirements. Charges are £12.50 for cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes, or £100 for heavier vehicles (including lorries).

Many construction companies will be affected if their vehicles such as lorries and heavier vans fail to meet Euro 6 standards.

Van Fleet World spoke to Keith Winterflood, director of logistics at Wilson James, about the responsibility of the construction industry to take a more prominent role in emissions reduction. He said: “Our research shows that a third of construction vehicles delivering to sites in central London’s new ULEZ are not compliant with the tighter exhaust requirements.

“On a typical central London project there are about 300 deliveries daily, so if there are 100 non-compliant vehicles, they will be paying a total of £10,000 in charges per day.”

To avoid breaking Ultra-Low Emission Zone standards, some construction companies are getting creative with their methods of transportation; London-based MR Scaffolding Service Ltd are set to use heavy-duty drones to deliver materials to sites. The company has worked closely with British drone designers funded by Sir Richard Branson, and the intelligent machines have been modified with Space-X safety and autonomous control technology.

Managing Director John Trayfoot said: “As a company, we’re very proud to be the forerunners of what could be the way forward in terms of delivering materials in our big towns and cities. We believe this is the future, and thanks to the backing of Sir Richard and Space-X technology, we can all contribute to the environment and bring something new and innovative to the industry. We’re all very excited.”

Research by Europcar Mobility Group last month found that only 36% of London-based businesses said they fully understood the impact of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in terms of vehicle emission standards. 12% either weren’t sure what the requirements will be or had never even heard of it.

Thinking about the wider impact, Director of Commercial Vehicles at Europcar Mobility Group UK Stuart Russell commented: “The regulatory changes that the ULEZ is set to bring are going to have a significant impact for businesses around the UK, not just those that are based in London. Many businesses trade within this zone and could be liable to this daily charge.”

Are you unsure whether your vehicle meets the emission standards required for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone? You can find out by checking your vehicle on the Transport for London website.

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