From 8th April this year, a 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into operation in Central London. The costs for entry for vehicles that do not meet the latest Euro VI Emissions targets are heavy: daily charges of £12.50 for those up to 3.5 tonnes and a swingeing £100 for vehicles over the 3.5 tonne level.
The RHA (Road Haulage Association) has criticised the ULEZ scheme for substantially raising the operating costs for the many haulage businesses with non-compliant vehicles that perform essential deliveries into the Capital. They claim that, of about 188,000 HGVs delivering into London each year, only approximately 50 percent meet the latest emission standards.
Relay is one of these compliant operators, because we have prepared for the establishment of the Ultra Low Emission Zone through strategic vehicle acquisition. Our vehicles delivering into London operate from our Head Office in Iver, Buckinghamshire, and we have ensured that all 26 vehicles at this depot are now Euro VI compliant.
Tom McMahon, our Head of Operations, explained that Relay carries out an annual vehicle refreshment programme, which has been recently been strongly focused on meeting ULEZ requirements. “We have been planning for the Ultra Low Emission Zone for the past two years, and have successfully reached the position where our entire Iver fleet, with its comprehensive range of 18 tonne, 12 tonne, 7.5 tonne and 3.5 tonne Mercedes vehicles, can enter the ULEZ area free of charge.”
He added that the average age of the vehicles for the total Relay fleet was only 52 months and that investment in new vehicles for all four Relay depots was a continual priority.
Euro VI compliance, effective as from September 2014, includes the regulation that diesel vehicles are not allowed NOx levels above 0.08g/km as opposed to the 0.18g/km permitted under the previous Euro V standard.