Mayor plans to introduce Ultra Low Emission Zone in April 2019
Ambitious plans to tackle London’s air pollution
From April 2019 the most polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to drive through central London in an ambitious proposal to reduce the capital’s toxic emissions.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will supersede the upcoming Toxicity Charge, making the capital’s emission standards more stringent than any other world city. These plans are expected to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by about 50 per cent in central London, 40 per cent in Inner London and 30 per cent in Outer London by 2020.
Who will be affected?
Petrol vehicles that don’t meet the necessary standards will have to pay a ULEZ daily fee of £12.50 for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 for buses, coaches and HGVs, to drive in the zone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
As a general indicator, petrol cars which are more than 13 years old in 2019, and diesel cars more than four years old in 2019, will not meet these new standards. The total cost will be £24 a day, when combined with the congestion charge (during the times of day it is applicable). Those that do not comply will face a fine.
The Mayor's ambition
Promising to help safeguard Londoners from the air quality health crisis, Sadiq Kahn has stated: “The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing.” And good to his word, the Mayor is committed to taking ambitious action to protect Londoners from the damaging health impacts of air pollution, more than doubling funding spent on tackling air quality to £875 million over the next five years.
Part of his proposals will see the ULEZ rolled out to include Greater London for heavy diesel vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries, in 2020, and up to the North and South Circular roads for cars and vans in 2021.
These timescales have been chosen to provide Londoners and businesses, including motorists visiting London, sufficient time to take the necessary steps to prepare for these new standards. They also reflect the minimum amount of time needed for TfL to consult on and implement complex schemes over large parts of London.
The Mayor is already working with TfL to ensure London’s public transport fleets lead the way in low emission technology. TfL will no longer procure double deck pure diesel buses from 2018 and instead only buy hybrid, electric or hydrogen buses. All new taxis will need to be zero emission capable from next year and new private hire vehicles will need to follow suit from 2020.