Boris Johnson unveils green van deal in Erith
PUBLISHED: 13:45 04 April 2011 | UPDATED: 15:57 04 April 2011
Boris Johnson was at Erith train station this morning to launch a scheme which enables van drivers to get money off greener models.
The Mayor’s train arrived at the station on time before he was photographed in the car park with vans which are part of the deal from Ashwoods, Citroën, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Volkswagen.
He hopes the offers will persuade the owners of approximately 72,000 vans and minibuses to swap them for a greener model which means they will avoid paying the fines when the changes to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) come in.
From January 2012 larger vans and minibuses will be forced to pay £100 daily charge or risk paying a £500 penalty.
Mr Johnson said: “I know it is difficult but people have to get ready for the changes. It was sheer effort which managed to get the car manufacturers on board. They are being responsible.”
Ford are offering £3,000 to owners of vans which are 10-years-old or more and Peugeuot are offering up to £2,000 off vans.
Last month the European Commission agreed to put on hold a £300 million fine for the capital being in breach of set emission levels. Now Mr Johnson and his team have to satisfy the Commission by June that their plans to cut pollution will work.
He said: “We are taking a huge number of measures. New hydrogen fuelled buses are being introduced, we are targeting local pollution hotspots and putting taxis’ age limit to 15.
“They (the Commission) are very impressed with our plans.”
Mr Johnson revealed he was in talks with the government over the weekend about their proposed changes to the Education Maintenance Allowance. He said: “We have been talking for a while with government about this. In London, we want to make sure that whatever replaces EMA, it targets London families.”
On the GP commissioning proposals which have already taken place in Bexley, he said: “It seems to be working well in Bexley and has support but my concern is if it works quite as well in other parts of London.”
For more information on the van deals visit www.tfl.gov.uk/lezlondon