London’s Low Emissions Zone begins today (4 February) – though for now it’s only heavy lorries over 12 tonnes that are affected.

The LEZ covers Greater London, a much wider area than the central London congestion charge, stretching virtually the whole way out to the M25 in all directions.

Goods vehicles over 3.5t are also part of the scheme from July this year, but fleets will only have serious concerns in 2010 when vans under 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight are affected.

From October 2010 vehicles registered before 1 January 2002 will be assumed to not meet Euro3 standard, so will need to be modified and certified to avoid the daily £200 charge for lorries and £100 for vans. Enforcement comes via the same numberplate-reading technology used by the congestion charge.

Cars and motorbikes are so far not included in the scheme.

For more information, see