By RAM Tracking on 20 Oct 2022
It’s no secret that carbon emissions and vehicle contributions are not just accountable for contributing towards climate change. The gases that are emitted through exhausts are largely filtered but still pump out enough to affect temperature changes to the planet and global warming, but they are also playing a significant part to human health in our cities and in particular the slow-moving traffic often found snarling up our roads in the centre of towns.
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) more than 400,000 premature deaths in Europe can be attributed to air pollution. The major culprits are:
Other chemicals released into the air combine with others to produce ozone which is great in the upper reaches of the atmosphere but harmful for humans at ground level.
Particulate matter from tyre and brake abrasion finds itself getting back into the air having been deposited on the pavements by passing cars.
All these pollutants in general will lead to:
Vehicles are now having to adhere to European standards which have been in place since 2014 known as the Euro 6 standard. Petrol cars can pass at the Euro 4 but Euro 6 is the ideal.
For those with the most up-to-date vehicles the good news is that a lot of the zones to be discussed will allow a free flow through without charge.
Euro 6 standard are set by tests known as WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) these replaced NEDC tests which weren’t up to the task. These amongst other tests are the reasons for the limits bullet pointed above. A lot of manufacturers tried to hide the figures using the older tests which resulted in the court cases more recently.
London was the first ULEZ and has the strictest of all the zones in the UK. Most of the cities scheduled or actively running other zones are more commonly using CAZ (Clean Air Zones).
The current ULEZ now covers everywhere inside the circular which before was the same as the current congestion charge zone. The LEZ is the large geofence on the map and the proposed 2023 expansion of the ULEZ is where the zone will be taken to essentially the M25.
The LEZ is for heavier vehicles and comes with a £100 a day charge.
As it operates 24/7, charging days run midnight to midnight, so if you drive through the zone from 11pm to 1am, you’d need to pay for two days. Costs are £12.50 per day in the ULEZ.
Like their Ultra counterpart Low Emission Zones aim to improve air quality by discouraging or restricting polluting vehicles, usually by charging them to enter.
As of writing, the only Class D Low Emission Zones in the UK are in London and Birmingham.
You may be exempt from LEZ charges if the following applies to you:
The Scottish Government will continue to develop support and funding to help people and businesses meet LEZ requirements.
You can find help here and check any vehicle on the official government website pages here:
Whilst these zones can be a hinderance and an increased cost for businesses with non-compliant vehicles there is also a positive side for fleet operators, acting as a good opportunity to reassess and streamline approaches to fleet management.
Route optimisation will become more important than ever. By using fleet management and vehicle telematics software, inefficient routes can be avoided where possible, making sure drivers do not inadvertently run up unnecessarily expensive charges simply by heading through the city centre.
Installing vehicle trackers is a solution to this. Allowing fleet managers to plan out the journeys of individual vehicles, this technology will help drivers avoid the charging zones where possible and use the best route to do so. The ability to view accurate ETAs and feed delivery data into an active roster gives both operator and driver the information they need when avoiding ULEZs to keep customers informed about arrival times and ensure that levels of service do not drop because of poor route planning.
Our geofencing options can ringfence areas to avoid and offer notifications if vehicles go into these zones in order to make sure daily charges are paid and more importantly avoid costly fines for non-payment,
Telematics systems can also help to reduce pollution levels on a more national level. Features that display areas of heavy congestion allow drivers to avoid traffic that may lead to excessive idling, saving time and stopping unnecessary pollution.
As well as this, vehicle trackers can record periods of excessive idling, so drivers become more mindful of how they react if they do get caught in heavy traffic. In many situations, it may be better to switch the engine off during stationary periods, saving both fuel and cutting down on exhaust emissions.
Do you have a question? Ask us anything