ULEZ to be expanded to whole of London, says Sadiq Khan

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has proposed expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) London-wide in 2023, covering the whole of Greater London.

Transport for London will launch a consultation on expanding the ULEZ boundary, based on stakeholder views.

London’s ULEZ was expanded less than six months ago in October 2021 and sees motorists pay daily charges for using what are considered polluting vehicles. The expansion from central London now means the ULEZ is 18 times bigger. Because of the expansion, 3.8 million people now live and work within the ULEZ, representing one-quarter of Greater London. The zone now covers most of inner London, having been expanded to include everywhere within the north and south circular roads.

Drivers whose vehicles do not meet emissions standards face a daily charge of £12.50 to enter the zone. Unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Petrol cars being driven into the zone must meet Euro 4 emissions standards, which became mandatory on all new cars made from 2005 onwards. Diesel vehicles must have a Euro 6 engine, which became mandatory in 2015.

Justifying the new expansion, the Mayor said toxic air caused by traffic is still leading to children growing up with stunted lungs and lead to nearly 4,000 premature deaths a year, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in London’s outer boroughs, which ULEZ doesn’t currently cover. There has been a slower rate of improvement in air quality in outer London than in central and inner London.

City Hall analysis warns that every hospital, medical centre and care home across the capital is located in areas that breach the new updated World Health Organisation’s guidelines for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Separate analysis shows vehicle congestion cost the capital £5.1bn last year.

Image above: congestion along the M4

Air pollution, climate change and congestion a ‘triple challenge’ says Mayor

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to reduce carbon emissions to help save the planet. And despite the world-leading progress we have made over the last few years, there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the lungs of young Londoners and leading to thousands of deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in outer London boroughs.

“In weighing up the different options, the rising cost of living was a key consideration for me. Because at a time when people’s budgets are under pressure, I’m not willing to ask people to pay more unless I’m absolutely convinced it’s justified to save lives and protect the health of Londoners. I believe the proposal to extend the ULEZ London-wide will have the biggest effect on emissions and congestion relative to the potential financial impact on Londoners as a whole. We are also proposing  to introduce the biggest scrappage scheme feasible to help Londoners on low incomes, disabled Londoners and businesses.”

Transport for London’s director of strategy and policy Christina Calderato said:

“Road-based transport has for many years been a major contributor towards poor air quality and carbon emissions and we are determined to tackle this through a wide range of programmes across TfL. The world-leading road user charging schemes we’ve delivered throughout the last two decades have been really effective, but it is clear that as a city we need to go further.

“We know that Londoners understand the Ultra Low Emission Zone, and expanding it to cover all roads and bring the area in line with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will be hugely beneficial for improving air quality across the whole city. We look forward to further developing the scheme through formal and comprehensive public consultation later this year.”

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See also: Hounslow council approves Council Tax rise & changes to Council Tax support scheme

See also: Hammersmith and Fulham to freeze their portion of Council Tax

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