Enthusiasts are calling for the exemption of classic cars in plans to ban older cars from central London. The proposal would see a blanket ban on petrol and diesel cars that don’t meet EU4 and EU6 emissions standards from entering the London Congestion Charge Zone.
Autocar's sister title Classic & Sportscar magazine is leading a campaign to ensure exemptions for classics in the legislation. It is concerned that classics could bear the brunt of the new rules aimed at reducing pollution in the capital.
The magazine wants to ensure the free movement of historic vehicle owned by users living both in and out of the zone; this will ensure the continuation of events such as the Regent Street motor show and the London to Brighton run. It is also proposing that classic car-related businesses should be free to operate without restriction.
Classic & Sports Car group editor James Elliott said: "Even though there are some 800,000 pre-1981 classic cars in the UK, their contribution to pollution is so tiny it is virtually immeasurable, yet they will be just as affected by this as the heavily polluting diesel vehicles that this is intending to curb.
"Classic cars constitute a £4.5billion business employing nearly 30,000 people in the UK and there are many dealers and support industries within the proposed area that could be driven out of business, as well as owners living within the zone who would find driving their own cherished car outlawed overnight. We are not talking about old bangers here, but pieces of history that have been lovingly preserved for generations."