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Mayor launches heavy vehicle scrappage scheme to tackle air pollution in London

Tue 29 September 2020 | Back to news list

The Mayor of London has announced plans to extend the scrappage scheme for vans and minibuses to HGVs, heavy vans, buses and coaches with the aim of improving air quality in London. The scheme is being launched in advance of the tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards, which will come into force on 1 March 2021. 
The scheme will support small businesses with up to 50 employees and charities to replace or retrofit older, more polluting vehicles that don't meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards.   
The scheme offers grants of £15,000 to scrap a heavy vehicle and replace it with a compliant vehicle, or to retrofit diesel vehicles up to the cleanest Euro VI standards. More than 100 organisations have already pre-registered interest in the scheme, which will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Other businesses or charities are encouraged to apply early for a greater chance to benefit from the grants as funding is limited.  Retrofits approved under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) developed by LowCVP and EST (the Energy Saving Trust) are eligible under the newly announced fund. 
The heavy vehicle scrappage scheme follows the successful programme for small businesses and charities to scrap older, more polluting vans and minibuses. The van scrappage scheme ran for 18 months and has committed enough support to take 5,000 polluting vehicles off London’s roads. That scheme remains open for charities. Eligible low income and disabled Londoners can still apply to scrap non-ULEZ compliant cars and motorcycles, as they have been able to since the scheme launched in October last year. 
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “The Ultra Low Emission Zone has already cut toxic air by more than a third and with tighter Low Emission Zone standards due to come in next year we want to ensure there is help for businesses and charities switching coaches or lorries to cleaner greener vehicles.   
The existing LEZ emissions standards set a limit for how much particulate matter (PM) a vehicle can emit in its exhaust gases. The new LEZ standards will require heavy vehicles to meet the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards for both PM and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) in order to avoid the daily charge, rather than the Euro IV standard currently required of vehicles of this type.
These standards were previously set to come in at the end of October 2020 but, in response to the impact of the pandemic, were delayed for at least four months. Following a review, it is now confirmed that they will come in on 1 March 2021. 

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