Low Emission Zones

Posted on Aug 8, 2016

At the start of July, the UK Government committed to tough targets on reducing carbon emissions. Three areas of focus were named as agriculture, housing and transport, as evidence would suggest that these are areas where investment in change could lead to the most beneficial results.

As the most polluted city in the UK, air quality in London is particularly poor. Even if you are sceptical about climate change and the environmental impact of human activity, there is no denying that people living and working in London and other UK cities are far from breathing in fresh air. It is therefore little surprise that London’s Major, Sadiq Kahn is fully embracing this need to lower carbon emissions.

Sadiq Kahn has announced a number of measures that he plans to implement. These include an additional emissions surcharge for higher polluting vehicles registered prior to 2005 (when Euro4 Emission Standards were introduced). This could be in force as soon as next year. In addition, an ultra-low emissions zone will be introduced to Central London in 2019 and this zone will gradually be expanded to outer London regions.

Whilst these measures might encourage more of us to use public transport, London buses haven’t escaped close scrutiny. Data showing a significant improvement in air quality on days when bus drivers strike has shown the need for change. As a starting point, Sadiq Kahn has stated his commitment to putting cleaner buses on the most polluted city routes.

Emissions Tests

You may have little knowledge about the carbon emissions that are produced by your car and unless you are planning to drive into London, you may not see the need in finding out. Although this may not be of great importance to you as a driver, it does form part of your annual MOT test.

When you drop your car off at a VOSA approved MOT garage, they will undertake a visual inspection and in most cases, metered test of the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons that are present in the exhaust fumes produced by your vehicle. Cars registered before 1 August 1975 are exempt from the metered test.

In addition to the visual inspection, there are three types of emission tests; standard, basic and extended, each of which applies to a specific type and age of vehicle. All are designed to ensure that your vehicle’s emissions are within the accepted legal limits.

Preparing for an Emissions Test

It is your responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient fuel, engine oil and coolant levels for the emissions test to be carried out. If not, the garage will be unable to complete the MOT. An emissions test is carried out when your vehicle is at normal operating temperature. It is ideal if you live within 5 miles of your MOT test centre, so you can arrive with your engine in test condition.

If you live in South Buckinghamshire and are looking for a reliable, experienced and VOSA approved garage to undertake your MOT, Holmer Green Service Centre is here to help. We will undertake thorough checks to ensure your vehicle is compliant and safe to drive. We will advise you of any issues and with your approval, we can carry out the necessary work to pass the test and keep your vehicle on the road.