Concerns London’s emergency services will struggle to meet ULEZ emission deadline

Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives have expressed concerns that emergency services will fail to meet proposed air pollution standards by its deadline, following a freedom of information request.

Shaun Bailey, London Assembly Member put in a FOI requests to the Met Police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service and found that they need to replace a significant amount of vehicles in order to be compliant with the upcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

Under the ULEZ plan - which is designed to improve the air quality in the capital - all vehicles, including emergency services' fleets, travelling inside the zone are required to meet stipulated exhaust emissions standards or pay a charge of £12.50 a day.

The deadline for this change is set to be 2019 and there are concerns that London’s emergency services will not be able to drive in the Capital without being charged under the new ULEZ rules.

The FOI results show that 82 per cent of the Met Police’s fleet is currently not in compliance with the ULEZ emission standards, and around 52 vehicles in London’s Fire fleet are not expected to meet emissions by the deadline, which could cost the fire service around £250,000 in ULEZ charges.

In addition to this, London Ambulance Service still need to replace more than 800 diesel vehicles and 27 petrol, to avoid the charges.

Bailey said it was “unbelievable” that emergency services were not exempt from the ULEZ rules “given their whole reason for driving in London is to save lives”.

He has therefore called for a deadline extension for all emergency services to allow them time to improve exhaust emissions.

Bailey added: "The Mayor should immediately give them an exemption or at least provide some flexibility on their compliance. These services cannot and should not be hit with a financial burden stretching into the millions of pounds when their travel is so vital and their environmental impact so minimal."

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