Keeping our capital working for the UK

Print this page

Business sees red on London Mayor’s ‘green’ low emission zone

London First, the influential business organisation representing London’s 300 leading companies, today slated the Mayor’s proposed London Low Emission Zone, branding it an inefficient way to improve the capital’s air quality.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“We support the Mayor’s stated aim to tackle London’s pollution and improve the environment, but the Low Emission Zone is a tax disguised as an environmental measure. It’s all stick and no carrot. And it’s a blunt device, which doesn’t take account of vehicles’ actual contribution to congestion, airborne pollutants or climate change – just their official vehicle licensing status. The answer is to incentivise the best at the same time as cracking down on the worst.”

London First has proposed that, to be genuinely effective, the Low Emission Zone scheme should tackle polluting cars, taxis and vans as well as the large trucks and coaches already included in the scheme. The scheme should also focus on where the problem is most acute – the existing central London congestion charging zone – where the enforcement technology is already in place and administrative costs can be reduced.

For further information, please contact Graham Capper on 020 7665 1505 / 07983 611 227 or Lauren Preteceille 020 7665 1471 / 07977 297 811

Notes to Editors

The Mayor is today expected to announce final decisions for a London Low Emission Zone (LEZ). To be introduced in 2008, the LEZ would charge commercial buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles working in Greater London if they do not comply with certain emission standards, with the proposal to further tighten emission criteria initially in 2010 with further restrictions introduced in 2012.

London First is proposing a smaller, more cost-effective zone, covering the congestion charge area and ring roads and targeting all vehicles rather than just goods vehicles, buses and coaches. To read London First’s response to the LEZ scheme order, visit:

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

London First Tweets