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What the LEZ and GLA mean for MEWPs - Update

2008/09/10

The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) applies to vans above 1.205 tonne unladen weight and certain diesel engined lorries. From 7 July 2008, it will apply to all diesel engined lorries over 3.5 tonne with the exceptions given below.

IPAF has clarified that truck mounted platforms continue to be exempted from the LEZ. Van mounts are not exempted. The LEZ does not affect self-propelled booms.

The LEZ commenced on 4 February 2008. It aims to improve air quality in London by deterring the most polluting vehicles from being driven in the area. The vehicles affected are older diesel-engined lorries, buses, coaches, large vans, minibuses and other heavy vehicles.

The LEZ covers most of Greater London, including parts of Kent and all of the Congestion Charge zone. It includes some motorways, but not the M25.

There are no barriers or tollbooths; only signs to advise drivers that they are entering the zone, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and bank holidays.

Fixed and mobile cameras record registration numbers that are checked against a database of registered vehicles.

The majority of British trucks will not need to register (except those from Northern Ireland) as they will already be on Transport for London’s register of vehicles that are compliant, non-compliant or exempt.

All operators of non-GB, including NI, registered lorries, buses, coaches, large vans, minibuses and other heavy vehicles will have to register. Some may be entitled to exemption or 100 percent discount. Vehicles must be registered at least 10 working days before entering the zone.

The LEZ will be introduced in phases through to January 2012. Different vehicles will be affected over time and increasingly tougher emissions standards will apply. Vehicles fitted with Euro III engines meet the July 2008 LEZ standard. Lorries first registered as new after 1 October 2001 and vans first registered as new after 1 January 2002 are assumed to be Euro III compliant and meet the LEZ emissions standard.

Vehicles that do not meet the required emission standards must pay a daily charge to drive within the zone (£200 for lorries and £100 for vans) or risk a £1,000 penalty charge notice.

More information at www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/lez/default.aspx and www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuels-and-environment/london-low-emissions-zone.html

GLA requirement

It is becoming more common for London local planning authorities to specify exhaust emission controls for large, high profile demolition and construction sites.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has been discussing with industry in recent months on its requirement for diesel particulate filters on plant with diesel engines above 37 kW, as outlined in the GLA’s Best Practice Guide to the Control of Dust and Emissions for Construction and Demolition.

The GLA has said that there will be no exemptions and no Eligible Equipment List, Sarah Legge at the GLA confirmed 10 September.

"The Best Practice Guide (BPG) was developed in parallel to the LEZ scheme," said Legge. "These two initiatives are designed to be complementary, with the BPG covering off-road construction equipment and construction vehicles including those which could travel by road but needed specific technological options. There is no connection between exemptions from the LEZ and exemptions from the BPG."

IPAF had earlier advised that plant already exempted under the LEZ, e.g. truck mounted platforms, might not be affected by the requirement, pending clarification. The GLA had not objected to that, but have now acknowledged that it was an oversight on their part and confirmed that there would be no carry-over of exemptions.

IPAF and the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) will continue to press for the cost and practicality issues of the BPG to be properly addressed before any sites have to implement it.

IPAF technical officer Gil Male confirmed that the GLA requirement could affect diesel-engined self-propelled booms and scissor lifts that are above the 37 kW limit. IPAF members with further queries are advised to contact Gil Male.

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