Now we are halfway through 2022, UK-based residents are being warned that there are four new laws coming into force that they need to be aware of. With the majority of the new legislation focused on driving, it’s important to note that if these new laws aren’t conformed to, then there is a risk of criminal proceedings.
St Helens Law have taken a look at the new laws – and what they mean for you.
- Electric charging points in new builds
By the end of June, all new homes being built are legally required to have an electric vehicle charging point installed. Not only applying to developers, self-builders will also need to factor them into their plans, as well as custom builds that include a communal car park.
It is believed that self-builders will do best to futureproof their homes through the installation of a connecting cable – something which developers probably won’t do, due to their engineering principles. Therefore, this may be an expense that will fall on the homeowner purchasing a new build in future.
Although the electric car industry is still in its infancy, these vehicles are here to stay, with a lot of developments expected in the coming years. This law was introduced on the back of Boris Johnson’s announcement at last month’s Confederation of British Industry Conference, in which he outlined the UK’s plans to accelerate plans to achieve ‘net zero’ – a target to completely negate the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity.
Electric cars will play a key part of the initiative, which aims to reduce emissions and implement methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The UK government has committed £1.3 billion to the infrastructure roll-out of electric vehicle charging.
- Smart electric vehicle chargers
Following on from the above, a new law is to be introduced on 30th June 2022 for homes and businesses who already have electric vehicle charging points installed, to ensure they have smart charging capabilities. This means they have a way of connecting their chargers – to the Cloud, for example – that enables them to monitor, manage and restrict the use of the electric charging point remotely.
This is aimed at optimising energy consumption, therefore positively benefiting the environment and helping to manage the strain on the National Grid.
- Clean Air Zone
Sticking with the hot topic of the environment, more major cities are going to be included in the Clean Air Zones (CAZ) – an initiative that charges or penalises vehicles with high emissions as set out by the Euro emission standards. Currently, there are only two cities that have implemented CAZ’s – Birmingham and Bath – with more cities expected to implement them in the coming months.
It is the responsibility of local councils to implement the CAZ’s and as such, each council is reviewing the plans for their own city. Despite Bradford and Bristol expected to be the next to join the initiative, other places including Greater Manchester currently have their plans under review and face the possibility of an extension until 2027 before they have to implement CAZs.
There are four classes of vehicle that will be affected by the CAZ’s. These are:
- Class A – private hire vehicles (PHVs), taxis, coaches and buses
- Class B – taxis, buses, coaches, PHVs and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
- Class C – buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs, light goods vehicles (LGVs) and PHVs
- Class D – buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, LGVs and cars
In addition, coaches, HGVs and buses that meet Euro IV emissions standards are exempt from any charges or restrictions. Cars, taxis and vans that adhere to Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 (petrol) emissions standards are also exempt from any charges. Ultra-low emission vehicles with a significant zero emission range are also unaffected by this legislation. You can find the category your vehicle is in, here.
If you find yourself needing advice on any of the new laws, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with St Helens Law. You can contact us on 01744 742360, email us at email@example.com or complete our online form.