London tightens emissions standards for heavy vehicles

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Buses, coaches and heavy trucks will have to pay 300 pounds a day (418 U.S. dollars) to enter Greater London if they don't meet low emission levels, the capital's mayor announced Monday.

Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced from Monday tighter London-wide emissions standards for heavy vehicles.

Under the new rules, heavy trucks, buses and coaches must now meet EuroVI emissions standards or pay a daily charge of up to 300 pounds across most of Greater London.

The much bigger zone falls within the M25 orbital motorway around Greater London.

The tougher emission standards across Greater London will match those already in force within the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

City Hall said the introduction of tougher standards, alongside the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone later this year, is expected to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from road transport by around 30 percent across London, and will prevent more than one million air pollution-related hospital admissions over the next 30 years, saving Britain's health service, the NHS, around 5 billion pounds.

"Toxic air pollution causes long-lasting harm and is a national public health crisis. In London, it contributes to thousands of premature deaths every year. There is also evidence linking air pollution with an increased vulnerability to the most severe impacts of COVID-19," said Khan.

He said new figures prove that the Low Emission Zone and Ultra Low Emission Zone are accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles.

Alex Williams, planning director at Transport for London, said: "The introduction of these tighter standards for heavy vehicles and the expansion of the ULEZ will significantly reduce harmful emissions within the M25."

Over 90 percent of cars in central London now meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone standards, City Hall said. (1 British pound = 1.39 U.S. dollars)

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