Posted on: May 19, 2016
Transport for London (TfL) has provided further details of the new Mayor’s upcoming consultation on plans for the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which is currently set to be introduced in 2020.
Speaking at the Wednesday’s Microlise Transport Conference, Tim Ward, TfL Freight and Fleet Communications Manager, said that several objectives stressed in Sadiq Khan’s manifesto would be central to the consultation. These included a commitment to reduce the number of “larger lorries” on London’s roads, during the busiest times of day in particular; to promote “safer and cleaner lorries”; and to encourage greater use of the River Thames for freight transport.
Ward said, “London is in breach of European standards on air quality and we have to do something about it.”
He did acknowledge that London’s population was continuing to grow, that 90% of all freight comes into the capital by road, and that the annual value of freight moved in and out of London is around £200 billion. “We are trying to develop a strategy, balancing quality of life against economic need,” he said.
The proposals include the extension of the ULEZ area outwards from the current congestion charging zone as far as the North and South Circular roads. It will also explore the possibility of introducing ULEZ standards for heavy vehicles London-wide from 2020.
Reacting to last week’s announcement that a fresh consultation will be launched, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “SMMT welcomes this public consultation by the new Mayor of London, and will work with him to ensure the ULEZ delivers the required air quality improvements.
“The automotive industry has invested heavily to reduce emissions, with new Euro-6 cars and the latest generation of Euro-VI heavy duty vehicles already helping to address air quality issues. The biggest air quality gains will come by encouraging uptake of this latest, lowest emission technology, regardless of vehicle or fuel type.
“All vehicles are at their most efficient when moving, and local policy makers, supported by central government, have an equally important role to play in tackling congestion by improving traffic flow and road infrastructure. Policy options such as out-of-hours deliveries, anti-idling advice and investment in road capacity are key to improving local air quality. We are keen to see a consistent implementation of policy measures across the country, avoiding a patchwork approach which would confuse motorists and add complexity for businesses.”
Ward said that TfL accepted that the London Lorry Control Scheme is now 30 years old and probably needed revision to allow more truck operation at night and early in the morning. “It is a noise issue, and trucks have come a long way on this in the past 30 years,” he said. But Ward emphasised that this scheme is run by London boroughs directly, rather than by TfL.