London’s ULEZ banishes older cars

Published:  08 April, 2019

Older cars are set to be pushed off the capital’s  roads thanks to  the Central London  Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which came into force today (Monday 8 April 2019).

Pre-2006 petrol cars with engines below the Euro 4 level, and pre-2015 diesel cars using engines below the Euro 6 level are among the vehicles that will now pay for entering the ULEZ

The ULEZ operates in the same area as the current Congestion Charge zone, and replaces the T-Charge and operates alongside the Congestion Charge. There are two ULEZ charge levels: £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches.

The intention is to reduce the number of polluting cars entering central London. A major awareness campaign has been run since last year to make sure drivers and businesses are ready for the ULEZ, with TfL’s online vehicle checker being used more than 3.2 million times during this period.  It is claimed that the threat of the ULEZ has encouraged motorists that drive into London to upgrade to newer cars.

Since February 2017, when Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the introduction of the T-charge as a stepping stone for the ULEZ, there has been a 11,000 vehicle daily reduction in the total number of vehicles seen in the Central London ULEZ zone. At the same time, there has been a 38% rise in the total number of compliant vehicles in the zone. In the same period, the proportion of compliant vehicles entering the zone has risen from 39% to 61%.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London’s air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.  This is also about social justice - people in the most deprived parts of London, who are least likely to own a car, suffer the worst effects of harmful air pollution. I will not stand by and watch children grow up with under-developed lungs in our city. The ULEZ is a vital step towards helping combat London’s illegal air.” 

There are a number of ULEZ discounts and exemptions being made available. Vehicles that face reduced fees or no fees include military vehicles, historic tax class vehicles, vehicles built before 1 January 1973, show vehicles and taxis. 

From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ boundary will expand,  creating a larger zone within the confines of the North and South Circular Roads.

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