Infrastructure services company FM Conway is investing £7 million in its vehicle fleet in preparation for the introduction of the expanded Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.
The ULEZ is to be introduced in the centre of the city from early 2019 – and will increase the emissions standards for light and heavy goods vehicles operating in the capital.
Replacing the current T-Charge, the ULEZ would see vehicles that do not meet emission standards liable to incur a daily charge to drive within the zone, ranging from £12.50 for some light vehicles, up to an additional £100 for some heavy goods vehicles which do not meet the Euro VI emissions limit.
Plans have also been out for consultation on expanding the ULEZ from central London up to the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads by 2021.
In anticipation of the introduction of the expansion of the ULEZ, the Kent-based construction and maintenance services firm FM Conway has begun the renewal of its fleet in order to comply with the stricter requirements.
According to the company, this includes an investment in 25 new HGVs and 136 1.5 tonne, 3.5 tonne and 7.5 tonne vehicles.
The new purchases include 60 7.5 tonne vehicles and 17 eight-wheel tippers, which meet Euro VI standards, to transport highway arisings and recycled-content asphalt mixes to and from FM Conway’s operational sites and its recycling plants around the capital.
The addition of the new vehicles, which are due to arrive in the next 12 months will bring the company’s liveried fleet to over 900 vehicles.
Peter Parle, FM Conway’s transport manager, said: “Whether it’s investing in plant and vehicle emission technology or cycle safety, FM Conway aims to pave the way on best practice for construction logistics.
“This latest move will ensure that our vehicle fleet continues to meet the highest environmental standards, helping to improve London’s air quality and supporting our many construction projects in the capital.â€?
Opinions have been divided on the introduction of the inner-London ULEZ, with some claiming that the measure will unfairly punish businesses, but others calling for tougher measures to crack down on highly polluting vehicles.
Local authorities on the outer edges of the expanded ULEZ – including Wandsworth – have also claimed that the proposals will see parts of their area divided by the boundary of the zone (see airqualitynews.com story).
Fleet managers have also highlighted concerns over the cost of compliance for small and medium sized businesses – with particular comments raised by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (see airqualitynews.com story).
On Friday it was announced that software firm Siemens, which already provides the technology for the enforcement of the Congestion Charging System in the centre of the city, will also be delivering traffic management software for the ULEZ, under a contract with Transport for London (see airqualitynews.com story).