The ULEZ could hurt us all nationally

 

It is widely considered that the London ULEZ will become the template for future zones in most of our cities in the not too distant future. The following, amongst many others have been mentioned; Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Derby, Glasgow and Edinburgh even smaller towns such as Peterborough.

Your National Association has long been a stakeholder with Transport for London (TfL) who are charged with implementing the zone in London. We gained an exemption from TfL for Historic vehicles in the first iteration of the zone. Since the Mayor of London changed from Boris Johnson to Sadiq Khan there has been a rethink and an earlier date for implementation is muted.

As a stakeholder, we are asked for our input on behalf of the wedding car industry. Recently we received the following email from TfL:

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Dear stakeholder

Seeking your views on changes to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London

A gentle reminder that the current consultation about introducing ULEZ early in Central London closes on 25 June 2017.  We encourage you to provide us with your feedback.

As part of the Mayor’s clean air action plan, we are proposing to introduce ULEZ on the 8th April 2019, around 17 months earlier than originally planned. This would mean that if someone drives a non-compliant vehicle in Congestion Charge zone they will be eligible to pay daily ULEZ charges from 8 April 2019. Vehicles that are parked all day will not be charged for that day.

The ULEZ will apply 24/7 everyday of the year and requires all vehicles to meet a NOx emission standard or pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. Further details about the current scheme are available on our website tfl.gov.uk /ultra-low-emission-zone. We propose maintaining the 3 year “sunset period for residents and disabled tax class vehicles (please see further details below), and also to introduce a Particulate Matter (PM) standard for diesel vehicles. This change is to recognise that the latest Euro 6/VI standard for diesel vehicles include controls for both Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and PM emissions.

Please visit our website tfl.gov.uk/airquality-consultation for further information about our proposals to change the ULEZ in Central London and to provide your views by completing our online questionnaire. Please feel free to email us at this email address if you require any further information or to request a meeting.

Yours sincerely

Alex Williams

Acting Managing Director of Planning

Transport for London

 

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Below is our response:

Dear Sirs

London Ultra-Low Emission Zone Update – Early Implementation

At a Stakeholder consultation meeting in December 2014 with Michelle Dix TfL’s Managing Director – Planning, the National Association of Wedding Car Professionals (NAWCP) was assured that TfL had decided that the exemptions that applied to the original Low Emission Zone (LEZ) would also apply to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – namely, to allow access to the ULEZ by ‘Historic Vehicles’ as defined by the government scheme without charges or penalties.

The case for this exemption was well proven, accepted and welcomed by the wedding car industry – as previously there was the belief within the industry that to do otherwise would be imposing a ‘tax on weddings’ in London. 

The NAWCP is not aware of any change to that policy; however, we are concerned that no mention of this exemption appears in the currently available documentation regarding the early implementation of the ULEZ.  Therefore, as part of the current consultation process we seek absolute assurance at the very earliest opportunity that the LEZ exemption for ‘Historic Vehicles’ will indeed also apply to the ULEZ when introduced in April 2019.

We would point out that many weddings within the ULEZ would be penalised as so many wedding vehicles would not be historic nor able to comply with the emissions requirements. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter further.

Kind regards

David G. Jones

Chairman

The National Association of Wedding Car Professionals

Chairman@nawcp.co.uk

01252 875 222

 

We are pressing TfL on the last point in our reply as without some sort of agreement many of our members will be adversely affected. Thus, penalising brides who will end up having to pay the fee directly or indirectly.

We would welcome input from any of our members with suggestions for solutions to this conundrum. Just because a car has a white ribbon is not the answer as anyone can put one on their vehicle to avoid paying the ULEZ fee. We need something remarkable and unique that we can put to TfL to make them sit up and think. We don’t have long to come up with an answer.


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