Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 20:02 UK

Emissions fines exceed 500,000

Lorries
The Low Emissions Zone was launched on 4 February

More than 500,000 in fines have been issued to lorry drivers entering the new Low Emissions Zone (LEZ).

Under the scheme launched on 4 February the most heavily polluting lorries face charges of 200 a day to enter Greater London or face a 1,000 fine.

By the close of business on Tuesday, Transport for London (TfL) said it had issued 543 penalty charge notices.

A TfL spokesman said it welcomed the number of vehicles now meeting the Low Emission Zone emissions standards.

'Bread and butter'

The TfL spokesman said: "Just under 5% of affected vehicles currently driving within the zone each week do not meet the emissions standards, and we expect this figure to fall still further.

"We expect the number of daily charge payments received and penalty charge notices issued to fall as more and more operators comply with the scheme," he said.

Jack Semple, director of policy for Road Haulage Association, said: the low emission zone was "still misunderstood" by a minority of operators.

"There will be more problems when phase two, that is small trucks, comes into effect in July and that is going to pose more difficulty for a lot of businesses in London," he said.

"This is a hugely expensive scheme providing negligible benefit in terms of air quality and costing London rate payers 90m in the first four years... The 7.5 tonne lorries are the bread and butter of businesses," Mr Semple added.




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