31st March 2014
There has been press coverage recently regarding proposals by Transport for London to upgrade the current Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) to an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Concerns have been expressed, through the specialist press, that exemptions for historic vehicles that currently prevail under the LEZ regime may not be carried over to the ULEZ. As a priority, FBHVC needs to be included within the stakeholder group under consultation with Transport for London so that the interests of historic vehicle owners can be appropriately represented. Accordingly we have written to Transport for London requesting stakeholder accreditation. The Federations request is reproduced in full below.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) represents over 500 member clubs in the UK with a total membership of over a quarter of a million historic vehicle owners and enthusiasts. Interest in historic vehicles sustains economic activity worth over £4 billion annually to the UK economy and supports the employment of over 28,000 people.
FBHVC fully understands the aims and purposes of minimising air pollution in London, and recognises that strict control of motor vehicle emissions could play an extremely important role in meeting those aims.
FBHVC is aware of recent press coverage of the Stakeholder's meeting held on 3 March 2014 on the subject of an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) for London which suggests that historic vehicles could be excluded from London because they would clearly not comply with modern emission standards.
We think it important that it be recognised at an early stage in the formal planning for a ULEZ that there are a limited number of historic vehicles which are owned or garaged within or immediately adjacent to London or which may have reason to enter the confines of any London ULEZ for historic or cultural reasons.
Exemptions concerning historic vehicle use do exist within the current LEZ Regulations and we think that such exemptions should properly be carried forward into the proposed ULEZ.
The FBHVC recognises that the proposal for a ULEZ is at an early stage and that a primary interest at the moment must be in defining actual options for its implementation. However we note that the interests the FBHVC represents do not appear to be covered by the stakeholder organisations with whom you are currently consulting.
In view of the adverse publicity currently being incurred, which the FBHVC is already attempting to put into context, FBHVC considers that it would be in the interests not just of FBHVC but of Transport for London that FBHVC now be added to the list of stakeholders to be consulted on the ULEZ proposal as it proceeds.