Tougher Standards in the Low Emission Zone for Cleaner Air

This year, standards for heavy diesel vehicles in the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) are getting tougher. This is a key next step in the Mayor’s action to clean up London’s toxic air. It follows on from the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London which was implemented in April 2019 and which will expand up to the North and South Circular Roads in October 2021. The ULEZ is already having real impacts on air quality, with roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution reducing by around a third in the central London zone. Please click here to read our Guide to ULEZ.


The LEZ is an existing scheme that aims to reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM) from the most polluting large diesel vehicles. From 26 October 2020, heavy vehicles must meet Euro VI emissions standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter, or pay a daily charge to drive in the area. These changes come in at the same time as enforcement of a London-wide safety permit system for heavy goods vehicles over 12 tonnes, which is part of the Mayor’s plans to eliminate death and serious injury on London’s transport network.

These measures are designed to ensure cleaner air and safer roads in London, and London’s businesses can help. You may have vehicles in your fleet, or those of your suppliers, partners and members, which need to meet the LEZ standards or register for an HGV safety permit. Further details on the LEZ, including a vehicle checker, can be found here. You can also find out more about the safety permit for HGVs here.

The Mayor recently announced his intention to launch a scrappage scheme for heavy vehicles owned by small businesses later this year to help them make the switch to cleaner vehicles. If you’re a small business, with 50 or fewer employees, you can pre-register your interest in the scheme by emailing and stating the type of vehicles you operate. Your business may also be eligible for support to scrap older vans and switch to cleaner vehicles that meet the ULEZ standards through the Mayor’s van scrappage scheme, which is now open to more businesses and with increased grant amounts. Click here to find out more.

Please click here to read our Guide to ULEZ.