3 motoring updates to be aware of in September

Traffic in Westminster, Central London
September usually means new number plates in the UK motoring world, but the start of autumn brings in some other changes you might not be aware of.

Read on to discover the fate of London’s Zero Emission Zone, the latest rude number plates and why drivers in Wales will have to take things slower from Friday (1 Sep).

Plan for Zero Emission Zone in London scrapped

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has dropped plans for a zero-emission vehicle zone in the centre of the capital.

The news comes in the same week that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone expanded to include all London boroughs.

Labour Mayor’s Transport Strategy published in March 2018 outlined plans to deliver a Zero Emission Zone from 2025, that would be expanded to inner London by 2040, eventually covering the whole city “by 2050 at the latest”.

A Transport for London spokesperson recently said: “We have no plans at present to progress the introduction of new Zero Emission Zones.”

“We remain focused on delivering plans to support the mayor’s target of a carbon neutral London by 2030, most recently celebrating the milestone of over 1,100 zero-emission buses operating in the capital.”

“We continue to support boroughs who wish to implement local zero-emission zones in their local areas too.”

New banned number plates

September means new number plates on UK roads, but it also means a host of new banned number plates.

The DVLA has announced a list of number plates that will be forbidden due to inappropriate or explicit combinations using the number 73.

With AN73 potentially read as ‘anti’ or ‘any’, EA73 read as ‘eats’ and HA73 understood to mean ‘hate’, the potential for offence is high.

The 73-plate combinations deemed unfit for the public include BO73 LOX, HA73 GAY, LE73 ZZA, SH73 TER and WH73 PWR, which may be offensive or embarrassing to certain groups.

The DVLA have reassured drivers that only a small minority of combinations end up on the suppressed list, with the majority of registrations remaining available.

Welsh speed limit change

In other news, from 17 September, Wales is set to introduce a new default speed limit of 20mph on restricted roads across the entire country.

The lower limit is expected to reduce collisions and road injuries, and encourage walking and cycling to “safeguard the environment”.

Affected roads are mostly located in residential and built-up areas where there are lots of people in transit.

Wales will be one of the first countries in the world, and the first nation in the UK, to introduce legislation to have a default 20mph speed limit on roads where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.

Are you affected by the ULEZ expansion in London? Here’s how to check if your vehicle is compliant.


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