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Emissions and exemptions

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The Greater London Authority (GLA) require construction sites in London to impose controls on exhaust emissions from construction plant. Equipment generally has to be of stage IIIB standard or better in central London and Canary Wharf, and IIIA or better on larger sites elsewhere in London. There is currently an exemption for all-terrain road going mobile cranes from the requirement for stage IIIB in central London and Canary Wharf.


The GLA are preparing to remove the current exemption for all-terrain road-going mobile cranes in September 2019. In addition, GLA plan for further restrictions on emissions in 2020. 


Other local authorities are considering introducing controls on emission from construction machinery, and they will be strongly influenced by the GLA policy. This means that areas outside London may also be affected by these changes.


The following table shows the current and proposed requirements.




   Date of application


                         Requirement & area of application



Central London &

Canary Wharf



Large sites in Greater London


Small sites in Greater London





IIIA - cranes are exempt from the requirement for IIIB





   No requirement


Sept 2019: proposed



IIIB (exemption removed)




   No requirement


Sept 2020: planned & in the policy already











Q) We do not hire cranes, we specialise in MEWPs (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms).  Do these come within scope of the proposals?


A) MEWPs do come within the general requirements from 2015, and the step change in 2020. CPA will be talking with IPAF and other industry bodies to help prepare the sector for 2020. The particular change that GLA are considering in 2018 applies only to the (current) exemption for mobile cranes, and has no impact on MEWPs.


Q) What about Crawler Cranes that do not travel on the road. Is anyone making it clear that there is a difference?


A) There was a block exemption for crawler cranes when the controls were first introduced in 2015. However, this was removed in 2016 because GLA had evidence that sufficient crawler cranes were available to meet demand, and there was no continuing justification for the block exemption. It is possible for a site to request exemptions for machines, but this has to be done on a case-by-case basis. 


Q) Are GLA looking for a total ban or will there be a daily charge?


A) The GLA do not have the statutory powers to levy any charges for this, as the rules are made under planning legislation. The principle is that it is a total ban, although sites can apply for exemption for particular machines on a case-by-case basis.








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