London low emission zone set to exclude classic cars

Classic and historic vehicles may be banned from Central London.

The government has a new proposed legislation to create an ultra low emission zone by 2020. London low emission zone set to exclude classic cars

We undoubtedly agree that air pollution is certainly an issue within the UK, in fact London is currently in breach of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide caused by traffic and faces challenging targets to reduce the effects of climate change.  An Equivalent of 4,300 deaths in London alone is attributed to air quality related illness such as chronic bronchitis or cardiovascular and respiratory problems.  So surely it would make more sense to target the “main offenders”, such as diesel taxis and heavy goods vehicles, rather than simply eradicating the least effective cause such as classic cars.

Low Emission Zones and the classic car enthusiast

The classic car owner drives his car on a limited mileage basis and generally through the summer months, so they spend very little time on our roads. If the decision reached is in favour of London’s low emission zone, which will, of course, be unfortunate,  we will see many historic and classic car rallies unable to continue.

Some of these rallies, which are included within the London low emission zone are The London to Brighton run, which is done by various sponsors and marques. Not forgetting the Regent Street Motor Show, and of course shows such as the newly formed London Classic Car Show.

Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee and organiser of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, Ben Cussons stated “We are in discussions with the Mayor’s office about the potential impact of the low emission zone on both classic events such as the Veteran Car Run and the individual motorist driving historical vehicles. They recognise that emissions from historic vehicles form a very small part of total vehicle emissions, but the European legislation which they are obliged to respect forces them to deal with all vehicles.“

Roughly around 30 to 40% of air pollution is generated by sources outside of Greater London.

Flipping the other side of the coin, we think that classic car owners who live in the proposed London’s Low Emission Zone will also suffer, as they will no longer be able to drive in the city without this risk of paying a fine and will be unable to get to and from classic car shows or classic car events outside of the L.E.Z. and of course we can’t forget proprietors who own a classic car workshops or businesses within the “zone”, this would also have a negative impact on their businesses and livelihood.

The classic car industry brings an estimated £4.5 billion to the British economy, which has created 30,000 jobs.

The Mayor’s proposal is set to enter the consultation stage at the beginning of 2015. For more information on the low emissions, zone click here.


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