The logistics industry is calling for mitigations for hauliers if plans to expand the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the whole of London by 2023 go ahead.

The call follows the announcement last week that Transport for London (TfL) has been instructed by London mayor Sadiq Khan to launch a consultation on the proposed expansion.

Logistics UK is warning that a shortage of ULEZ-compliant trucks is preventing operators from maintaining continuity of operation in the existing ULEZ zones.

The shortage has been exacerbated by delays to the delivery of cleaner vehicles due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions created by the Ukraine War and the microchip shortages.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy for the south at Logistics UK, is urging TfL to consider mitigations for hauliers awaiting delivery of cleaner trucks.

She said: “Industry is fully committed to introducing cleaner vehicles however, recent challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic have slowed the supply of these vehicles.”

“Until they are available, Logistics UK is urging TfL to consider mitigations – such as those currently being implemented by councils that have introduced Clean Air Zones – for those that have ordered, and are awaiting the delivery of, these cleaner vehicles.

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“We must ensure London’s business and homes continue to be supplied with the goods they need.”

The consultation on the proposed expansion, which was first announced by the mayor in March this year, will also ask Londoners what they would like to see in terms of 'smart road user pricing'.

This proposal could see TfL scrap existing charges, such as the Congestion Charge, replacing them with a road user charging scheme that uses more sophisticated technology. However Khan said road user pricing is still “many years away.”

Announcing the consultation, Khan added: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and traffic congestion mean we must go further to reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to cut harmful emissions to help save the planet.

“Toxic air pollution is still permanently damaging the lungs of young Londoners and leading to thousands of premature deaths every year.

“The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has made a significant difference, helping to reduce harmful roadside nitrogen dioxide by almost half in central London while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

“However, despite this world-leading progress, all of London still exceeds World Health Organization recommended levels of air pollution.”