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Road Low Emission Zone

A Low Emission Zone means charging vehicles not meeting minimum emissions standards for entering Greater London.


This is a manifesto commitment for Mayor Ken Livingstone's second term from 2004-2008. Feasibility studies were originally carried out by AEA Technologies (on behalf of the Mayor, the GLA, the DfT and various other bodies) into making London a Low Emission Zone (LEZ), an air pollution management system already used in Sweden.

Managing emissions

The most polluting vehicles are targeted by the LEZ - those are lorries, coaches and buses, which have disproportionately high emissions per vehicle. These vehicles are required to pay 200 per day for entering Greater London if they do not meet the minimum standards.

Vans and taxis could be brought into the scheme at a later date. However, it will not include private cars.


An automatic scheme using cameras is used to check against a database of "allowed" vehicles (generally all those after a certain registration date, with an added list of exempt and retrofitted vehicles).


The scheme is expected to cost about 6-10m setup and 5-7m/yr operations, although with an expected revenue of 1-4m through fines.

Industry is estimated to have to spend some 64-135m in order to comply with the LEZ.


Although seemingly expensive, health benefits to Londoners of around 100m are expected, with additional benefits to people outside London as cleaner vehicles would operate outside the capital too. Some noise reduction benefits are expected, as well as reductions in CO2 emissions.


(newest first)
Low Emission Zone consultation starts
2006-11-15 16:14:38

Detailed consultation on the proposed Low Emission Zone across Greater London began this week and will continue until 2 Feb 2007.

Consultation begins on Low Emission Zone proposal
2006-02-04 13:04:43

TfL have begun consultation on their proposals to create a Low Emission Zone in London which would discourage polluting heavy vehicles such as old lorries or coaches from entering London by charging them to do so.

Scrutiny of Low Emission Zone plans
2006-01-25 09:10:32

The London Assembly will examine the Mayor's plans for a London Low Emission Zone, which could see older, polluting coaches and lorries banned or charged to enter London. The aim is to reduce emissions of harmful nitrogen dioxide and particulates, and the scheme could cost 10m.

Croydon penalty for idling cars comes into force
2005-01-02 19:25:48

Starting this year, in order to improve air quality, Croydon Council will impose a fine of 20 on any drivers who don't switch off the engine of an idling car when requested.

Taxis to meet Euro 3 emissions standards
2005-01-02 10:45:29

To improve air quality in London, the Mayor announced that London taxis will be required to meet Euro 3 emissions standards by 2007. Taxis are responsible for 24% of fine particulates as well as significant portions of other pollutants; a 20p surcharge per journey will help pay for the new strict emissions standards.

Penalty plan for idling parked cars
2004-08-14 17:07:37

Croydon Council is investigating the possibility of fining motorists who leave their engines running whilst parked, to aid a reduction in emissions. It supports the creation of a London Low Emissions Zone.

Links & Sources

  1. TfL: Low Emissions Zone proposal
  2. Low Emissions Zone - Feasibility Study [RTF file]

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