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Larger London ULEZ to affect 135,000 cars and vans

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will expand up to the North and South circular roads from 25 October 2021.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone will expand up to the North and South circular roads from 25 October 2021

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone and will impact on an estimated 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries, driving air quality improvements within the capital further; only 4% of roads in Outer London are expected to exceed legal limits in 2021.

The announcement follows the confirmation late last year that the central London ULEZ will kick in from 8 April 2019 – 17 months earlier than originally planned – providing a replacement to the recently launched T-Charge. The mayor has also confirmed that the ULEZ will apply to buses, coaches and lorries across the whole of London from October 2020, using the same boundary as the existing Low Emission Zone.

The expanded ULEZ will be managed in the same way as the central version, which runs in addition to Congestion Charge costs. Vehicles will need to be a minimum of Euro 6-compliant for diesels and Euro 4 for petrols compared to Euro 4 for both fuel types under the T-Charge.

Drivers of cars, vans and motorbikes within the expanded zone using non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50. Penalties stand at £130 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days) for cars and £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days) for lorries and other heavy duty vehicles.

Sadiq Khan said: “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action. Air pollution is a national health crisis and I refuse to stand back as thousands of Londoners breathe in air so filthy that it shortens our life expectancy, harms our lungs and worsens chronic illness.”

University research published earlier this week suggested the cost of the damage to our health caused by the average car in inner city areas is £7,714 per car, rising to £16,424 for diesels and £24,555 for diesel vans.

The expansion of the scheme follows a public consultation that showed 56% of participants supported or strongly supported the expansion of the ULEZ boundary from central London.

However, the RAC has expressed concerns over the impact on local SMEs and residents.

Roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “Nobody doubts the need to clean up London’s air, however the expansion of the ULEZ represents a huge move into residential areas within the North and South Circular. Residents and small businesses within this area now have just three years to become compliant with the Mayor’s emission standards. This means many now face the daunting challenge of having to spend substantial amounts of money on a newer vehicle or face a daily charge of £12.50 to use their vehicles from October 2021. These time pressures and costs will be keenest felt by those from low income backgrounds, as well as those who work in roles such as hospitality and depend on using a car at night when public transport is not readily available.

“Motorists currently have no quick and easy means of knowing for certain what Euro emissions standard their car, or one they are looking to buy, meets – so it is absolutely vital that a central database is developed as quickly as possible.”

The Mayor also reiterated his calls for the Government to introduce a diesel scrappage scheme while announcing a longer ‘sunset’ period from the ULEZ for disabled tax class vehicles and specially adapted private hire vehicles.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.