What is a low emission zone?
A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is a charging scheme with the aim of improving local air quality. Vehicles are defined by their air quality emissions and those that exceed pre-determined air quality emission levels are either required to pay a fee to enter or move in a LEZ or are they may be banned from entering or using a LEZ.
What is the impact for members?
Depending on the Euro standards set, the vast majority of member’s vehicles should be compliant with the LEZ standards providing an excellent opportunity to promote the benefits of renting and leasing vans, minibuses and HGVs.
Are there LEZ's in the UK?
There is currently a low emission zone operating in London. For more information click here.
Outside of London, fifteen local authorities in England have been allocated prime funding from the Government to develop similar LEZ projects, details of which can be found below:
|Lead authority||Total amount awarded||Projects|
|Aylesbury Vale||£28,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Bath & North East Somerset DC||£46,500||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Birmingham (West Midlands Group)||£120,000||Project to define emissions reduction strategies, including LEZ, LES toolkit, green procurement.|
|Bradford||£102,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Horsham District Council||£15,000||Storrington Traffic Fleet Survey & LEZ Feasibility Assessment|
|Leeds City Council||£50,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Lewes Council||£120,000||Sussex Low Emission Zone feasibility assessment project (2012-2013)|
|Maidstone Borough Council||£40,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Newcastle Upon Tyne (joint bid with Gateshead MBC)||£60,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Reading Borough Council||£40,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Sheffield City Council (joint bid with South Yorkshire Group)||£40,000||Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study|
|Southampton||£40,000||LEZ feasibility study and monitoring|
|Warwick District Council||£20,000||Tender Project: feasibility of introducing LEZs within Warwick District|
|Waverley||£21,500||Traffic management and Low Emission Feasibility Study|
|York City Council||£68,500||a) LEZ feasibility study, and b) Fleet Recognition Scheme|
BVRLA lobbying position
As new zones emerge, a harmonised approach to the emission standards which are set will be vital and the BVRLA is working closely with Government to set up a national framework for emission standards. The association's calls for a common framework have received support from the Chair of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley, who said "As a matter of urgency, the government must set up a national framework for low emission zones to establish a recognised standard for emissions and vehicle identification, supported by a national certification scheme of retrofit technologies."
For information on low emission zones in Europe click here