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LCVs face 2010 London eco-tax

Date: 02 August 2006

Southern-based light commercial vehicles could be hit by a tax blow in 2010 if their threatened inclusion in London's low-emission zone comes to pass.

The first stage of the process, which will cover all London boroughs, will apply from February 2008 and cover lorries over 7.5 tonnes. Five months later, coaches, uses and lorries over 3.5 tonnes will be added. Vehicles built before 2001 and not fitted with a filter would be open to charges of up to £200, with enforcement via number plate recognition technology. Consultation will take place in the latter part of this year to set out the final details, including exact vehicle types, emissions standards and the area covered by the Low Emissions Zone.

But scheduled for 2010 is a further extension of the scheme that would include light commercial vehicles. TfL has yet to commence the consultation, but expects to base any charge on vehicle emissions, rather than age as it is with the first phase for lorries and buses. However, TfL has said that smaller car-derived vans won't be included, as their emissions are more car-like.