Greater London Authority (GLA) Emissions

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 from the 1st September 2019. In addition, GLA plan for further restrictions on emissions in 2020, but due to the impact of COVID-19, this has been deferred to 28th February 2021

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 Central London & Canary Wharf Large Sites in Greater London Small Sites in Greater London
Present IIIA - Cranes are exempt from the requirement for IIIB  IIIA No requirement
September 2019 IIIB (exemption removed) IIIA No requirement
Deferred to 28th Feb 2021 due to impact of COVID-19 (Oringally planned for 1st Sept 2020) IV IIIB

Frequently Asked Questions

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. 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.