02 Feb 2012 10:02:28
London's LEZ just the beginning: country set to follow capital on air quality control
2 February 2012 - London’s low emission zone will soon be emulated across the country, says transport expert Nigel Standley.
“Poor air quality shortens the lives of 200,000 UK citizens and costs society up to £20 billion each year,” said Standley, CEO of GreenUrban Technologies. “It’s an issue we need to take seriously, and not just in our capital city.”
In November last year a damning report by the Environmental Audit Committee found the UK was far behind European air quality standards. The Government’s recent Air Quality report confirmed this finding, lambasting 40 of the UK’s 43 assessment zones for failing to meet EU targets.
Attempting to address the problem, last month phase two of London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into force, requiring road vehicles entering the capital to meet Euro 4 standards or face heavy fines.
As governments and local councils look to ways of improving air quality, Standley predicts the introduction of low emissions will be widespread up and down the country.
“It won’t be long before these zones are widespread,” Standley noted. ”York, Reading, Oxford, Bradford and Glasgow have already made tentative steps.”
This week officials in Sheffield voiced concern over the city’s high carbon emissions, implying they too are ready to enforce a low emission zone.
Standley concluded: “Rather than waiting for legislation to come into force and playing catch-up, the transport sector should spearhead the move and reap the rewards of responsible business.”
GreenUrban Technologies produce diesel particulate traps, which offer an affordable, cost-effective solution. They enable old dirty vehicles to be retrofitted, reducing particulate output by 95%, making them fully LEZ-compliant. A study by Science published last month affirmed that, along with thirteen other highly cost-effective measures, diesel particulate traps have the potential to provide substantial climate-saving benefits.