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New air quality zone for London

smog.jpgLondon already has a congestion zone for traffic and next year they’ll be a Low Emisson Zone, being brought in by the Mayor to cut the amount of nitrogen dioxide and particle matter in the air in order to meet European Union targets.

The zone will cover all of Greater London and possibly run to include all the area within the M25 motorway that circles outer London. Starting next year diesel trucks, coaches and buses will have to meet minimum standards or pay a charge (what a surprise) and from 2010 smaller trucks, vans and minibuses will be included.

According to the Mayor and the London Assembly, London still has the worst air quality in the UK and some of the worst in Europe. Looking through the Mayor’s Transport and Air Quality Strategy Revisions, its interesting to read that ‘UK policy on air quality is determined to a considerable extent by European legislation’ and that ‘each year that the UK exceeds an EU limit value there is the risk of infraction proceedings and the UK potentially paying daily fines based on a percentage of GDP.’

So we could be breathing in what they decide is bad air and having to pay the European Union a penalty for doing so, hardly seems fair. Either way vehicle owners coming into London will have one more thing to pay for next year.