Leyland ice cream vans could face meltdown.
The colourful vehicles, many of them more than 20 years old, will have to be taken off the road if they fail to comply will new rules on emissions.
Alan Wilson, director of Leyland-based Robinson’s Farm Ices, fears this additional piece of EU legislation could spell the end of an era for the UK’s much-loved vans.
He still has 16 vans on the road, but says the additional costs of converting vehicles to comply with lower emission levels could be crippling.
He said: “If this comes into force it will put nearly every ice cream van off the road.
“Our youngest vehicle dates from about 2004 and maybe that could be converted.
“But many of the others are about 20 years or more old and I’m not sure we could afford to convert them, or even if it’s possible.”
Mr Wilson said the new rules would add one more cost to the already long list of outgoings to keep the vans on the road.
These include about £1,000 for insurance on each van, plus another £700-£800 each year for a licence to trade.
He said: “If someone wants to sell in more than one area they need a separate licence for each one.”
The new lower emission limits will initially be introduced in London and then rolled out to other cities, with vehicle owners likely to face fines for non-compliance.