Firms operating in London face £200-a-day fines if their lorries don't comply with EU exhaust limits

Lorries over 12 tonnes which do not comply with EU exhaust limits are facing £200 a day fines in London from today onwards.

As TfL’s low emissions zone (LEZ) comes into force today, lorries entering Greater London are monitored 24 hours, seven days a week by specific cameras.

Firms have been given an extension of 28 days to ensure their vehicles meet the 0.05g per km emission of airborne dirt and nitrogen oxide. Vehicles built after October 2001 usually automotically comply with the regulation.

First-time rule breakers will be given a written warning and issued a £200 fine at the next infringement. If the penalty is not paid, drivers face a £1000 fine.

In July, the regulation will extend to coaches and busses, some vans and smaller lorries will be included by 2010.

Nick Fairholme, head of the LEZ, commented: “Despite significant improvements in recent years, London's air pollution is the worst of any city in the UK and among the worst in Europe.

“The LEZ aims to reduce traffic pollution by deterring the most individually polluting diesel-engine lorries, buses, coaches, minibuses and large vans from driving within our city.”