Are you ready for urban charges and lorry bans?

Environmental pressure groups, the government and sections of the community at large are growing increasingly concerned about pollution caused by traffic on our cities’ roads – many heavy goods vehicles seem to be the main culprits.

As a result, major controls have been proposed in order to dissuade such traffic from entering especially congested routes. The principal disincentive is expected to be by way of additional charges for vehicles using those roads, but with the possibility of outright bans on the close horizon.

Are you prepared for a future in which the use of your vehicles, or the vehicles you sell, repair, maintain and service, is restricted by increasingly tight controls? How might they affect your operating costs as any kind of haulage operator or trader, including your transport insurance?


The latest measure, to come into effect on the 23rd of October 2017 is the so-called “toxicity charge” or “T-charge”. In fact, this charge is levied on petrol and diesel cars with engines built before Euro-4 standards, mainly including those manufactured before 2005. The charge works alongside the already existing congestion charge, raising the total of combined sum of both congestion and T-charges to £21.50 a day.

The major blow for haulage operators is a little further in the future, with the planned introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone within which every vehicle will need to meet certain emission standards or face higher penalty charges.

According to Transport for London (tfl), the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is intended to come into force in September 2020 and will occupy the same boundaries as the current congestion zone – and will involve additional charges – but may eventually extend to a much larger area, up to the area encircled by the M25 motorway.

UK Haulier magazine, predicts that, on current planning, the result might be that over 50% of HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes being banned entirely from driving in London within just three years, by the year 2020.

Other cities

Although London may be leading the way, many other cities and local authorities are not so far behind.

In a story dated the 2nd of April 2017, the Daily Mail newspaper reported that up to 35 other cities are presently considering so-called “toxin taxes” on vehicles responsible for causing more pollution, including heavy goods vehicles. Vehicles failing to meet whatever emission standards are imposed are expected to be banned entirely from those roads.

Your haulage insurance

The results of such emissions restrictions or bans in major UK cities, could see owners and operators of HGVs having to buy new or modify existing vehicles to meet new emissions standards.

Clearly, new vehicles and those that are modified in any way to meet those new standards require haulage insurance that reflects the new types of vehicle being operated.

And that is where Aston Scott may be able to keep you ahead of the game. As specialists in the provision of haulage insurance, we are already providing cover for operators of single vehicle and fleets of heavy goods vehicles designed to meet, or modified, to meet future emissions standards. Simply contact us today on 03300 085045 to see just how in tune we are with your current and future needs.


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