SERIOUS MONDAY: LOW EMISSION ZONE INTRODUCED IN LONDON

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Last week saw the introduction of the new Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in London which aims to improve air quality by deterring the most polluting vehicles from driving in the area.

ehicles affected by the LEZ are older diesel-engine lorries, buses, coaches, large vans, minibuses and other heavy vehicles that are derived from lorries and vans, such as motor caravans and motorised horse boxes.

Transport for London has stressed that cars and motorcycles are not affected by the scheme. Currently it covers vehicles over 12 tonnes and different vehicles and tougher emissions standards will be introduced in the future.

The most polluting vehicles will have to meet specific emission standards or pay a daily charge.

Friends of the Earth, which says traffic is London’s single largest source of air pollution,  has welcomed the new zone.

But it says the LEZ will only reduce air pollution to below European Union (EU) air quality legal limits in some areas of London, leaving parts of the capital still dangerously polluted and it is calling for the whole of London to be brought within legal limits.

Jenny Bates of Friends of the Earth said: “The LEZ is exactly the kind of initiative Londoners need to end decades of needless threat to their health from dirty vehicles, but to protect the health of all Londoners the whole of the capital must be brought within legal air quality limits.”

Environmentalists say air quality could be further improved if plans were abandoned for large road building schemes such as the proposed Thames Gateway road bridge.

Susan

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