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Letters: Why low emissions really matter
posted on: 2012-03-28 08:21:05
Letterbox blog

I am writing this letter as a call to the events industry to be mindful of changes to the Low Emission Zone scheme introduced 3 January.

If you are an events company or supplier travelling in a commercial vehicle to and from London, without knowing it you could easily be breaking the law. This is due to new regulations brought into effect on 3 January surrounding the Low Emission Zone which will significantly affect the event industry and especially transport and logistics firms.

Before 3 January, generally speaking vehicles were required to meet the Euro III standard for particulate matter (PM).  Transport for London is producing a Vehicle Checker database where operators can check their specific vehicles by registration number. Vehicles are measured by engine energy output (g/kWh), and the new measure has raised the standards of emissions which will cost significant money to meet, if current vehicles do not comply.

Any suppliers travelling in and out of London and not meeting the standards will be hit with fines of £200 per day on top of already mounting costs such as fuel prices, the congestion charge and VOSA driving regulations which must be abided by.

I am all for any initiatives to increase sustainable operating practice but I am interested in the impact this will have on all logistics operators within the live events industry when bringing people, materials and resources to and from events in the capital. Especially in such an exciting year for British events from prestigious sports to royal jubilee celebrations and premium festivals.

There are a few changes that people can make to help them meet these standards. The first is investment in new vehicles but this is a long-term investment and not something that can necessarily be done instantly. More accessible solutions are engine modifications including conversion to gas, the fitting of engine filters or supplementing the fuel with an additive like the Mercedes-Benz Bluetec system emissions technology.

Alternatively to save the hassle and potential implications and fines that a lack of understanding can cause in these and other transport regulations, those without specialist logistic departments should contract the work out to a partner business who does this on a daily basis so they can ensure standards are met.

This also guarantees that driver regulations are being taken into account with the correct operator licences in place, codes of practice abided by and event sites properly inspected to ensure vehicles can safely access them.

–  Robin Carlisle is the MD of Mobile Promotions.