The Freight Transport Association has won London congestion charge discounts for Euro 5 operators and an extension of discounts for LPG and CNG powered vehicles.
The agreement (between the FTA and mayor Ken Livingstone) was part of a package of measures that included the introduction of a carbon dioxide-related charging regime for the London congestion charge zone.
Operators of Euro 5 lorries will be able to apply for a discounted rate of £6 per day for up to two years from 27 October this year (new applications will close in October 2009). This will only apply to vehicles that include on-board diagnostics, which were left off certain early Euro 5 models.
Those lorries running on CNG or LPG will still benefit from a 100 per cent discount until 11 January 2010, after which they can benefit from the same £6 deal as Euro 5s. No new registrations for gas-powered vehicles can be made after 27 October 2008.
For vans between 1.2 and 3.5 tonnes there is a similar arrangement but the timetable is longer. Euro 5 vans will be able to apply for and benefit from the £6 rate from 27 October 2008 until 1 January 2012.
Vans currently running on LPG can still benefit from the 100 per cent discount until 27 October 2009 and can then switch to the £6 rate. But there will be no new LPG vehicle registrations added to the scheme after 27 October this year.
Gordon Telling, the FTA’s head of policy for London, South East & East of England, said: “This is excellent news for conscientious operators who want to do more to improve air quality. We lobbied hard to get this discount in place and again to have the timelines extended from one to two years for Euro 5 HGVs during the consultation.
“A small operator with fewer than ten vehicles can now enjoy a saving of up to £1,000 for each Euro 5 HGV and up to £1,600 for each Euro 5 van. This is on top of the existing discounts in VED that qualifying Euro 5 vehicles enjoy.
“It is a shame that operators who made an early commitment to air quality by buying the first Euro 5 vehicles without OBD cannot share in this incentive but we will continue to lobby HM Treasury for this to be changed. FTA is also working closely with TfL to agree future arrangements for congestion charge discounts post-Euro 5 once the even cleaner Euro 6 vehicles begin to come to market. This strategy is part of FTA’s ongoing work to reduce unnecessary compliance costs for operators serving London’s businesses and residents.”