A new £23 million scrappage scheme to help take the most polluting vans off London roads has been launched to prepare for the ultra-ow emission zone (ULEZ).
The scheme, announced by the Mayor of London, will initially help London’s micro-businesses – defined as those with fewer than 10 employees – to switch to the cleanest vehicles, including electric.
It is planned to be in place ahead of the introduction of London’s new central London ULEZ, which from April 8 2019 will bring in charges for vehicles which do not meet stricter emission standards that apply 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Diesel vans, which do not meet the latest Euro 6 standard, will have to pay £12.50 a day to drive in central London.
Under the City Hall scheme, funding would be available to scrap vans that do not comply with the new ULEZ standards, but which are driven into the ULEZ zone regularly, helping thousands of micro-business owners update their vehicles.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has asked officials at Transport for London (TfL) to work out how the money could be spent most effectively, and further details of the scheme will be available next year.
However, as well as announcing his own City Hall fund, Khan wants the Government to match his ambition.
He has asked ministers to match-fund London’s proposed scrappage scheme with £23m of Government money, funded either from the £245m National Clean Air Fund or from underspend on Highways England’s £75m air quality fund.
Khan, said: “It’s not good enough to do nothing, and I’m determined to take real action which is why I’ve already delivered the toxicity charge in central London for the oldest polluting vehicles, cleaned up our bus fleet, and brought forward the ultra-low Emission Zone. My scrappage scheme is my next step in tackling pollution.”
The support for fleets offered by Khan is supported Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. He said: “Vans criss-cross the capital making journeys that are crucial for London’s economy. They are likely to cover more miles per day than a car simply driving to and from a single place of work. Helping smaller businesses, with limited cash flow, trade up to newer cleaner vehicles faster than they could do otherwise makes sense.”
Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), added: “It is great that the Mayor is providing extra financial support for upgrading vans, which are an essential tool for so many SME’s operating in London.
“The BVRLA and its members look forward to working with the GLA on its plans to remove older, more polluting vans from London’s roads.
“Vehicle rental and car clubs will also play a vital role in helping businesses and individuals make the shift to cleaner, ULEZ-compliant motoring from April 2019.”