The London Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, will be heavily expanded to cover most of the capital on 25 October 2021.
The ULEZ will target all diesel cars and vans not meeting Euro 6 standards, as well as petrol cars and vans not meeting Euro 4 targets. Divers of non-compliant vehicles will pay £12.50 a day to drive into the zone, which will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The ULEZ will begin on 8 April 2019, covering the same area as the Congestion Charge zone. Then, from October 2021 it will expand to take in all areas between the North and South circular roads.
As well as non Euro 6 diesel cars and vans, and non-Euro 4 petrols, non-Euro 3 motorbikes will be targeted. Historic vehicles – those built before 1979 – will be exempt from the ULEZ, as long as they have been awarded historic vehicle tax status. You can use Transport for London’s checker tool to determine your vehicle’s emission standard status. Affected drivers who forget to pay the ULEZ will be fined £160, reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days
Euro VI lorries, buses and coaches (essentially vehicles made before 2013 or 2014) will also be affected by the ULEZ, paying £100 to enter the zone, with drivers fined £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days) for failing to pay.
City Hall estimates put the number of vehicles affected by the ULEZ at 100,000 cars and 35,000 vans, and predicts 100,000 Londoners will no longer live in areas with illegal air quality limits from 2021, with all areas of the capital predicted to see an overall fall in pollution.
While the staggered implementation of Euro standards makes putting precise dates on affected vehicles unwise, broadly speaking, diesel cars made prior to 2014 will be affected by the ULEZ, while petrols made before 2005 will by hit.
The expansion of the ULEZ has been on the cards for some time, but London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has now confirmed its 25 October 2021 start date. Speaking at a London primary school, 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,” he continued. “I promised hard-hitting measures to tackle our shameful air pollution and today City Hall is confirming the next stage of our plans to expand the ultra-low emission zone up to the North and South Circular roads.”
Alliance of British Drivers spokesman Nigel Humphries warned that the UK Government is giving “powers to local authorities to introduce emissions-based charges pretty much at their whim and with no justification.” He added: “If the Government wish to avoid ‘Yellow Vest’ style protests they need to act now, remove such powers from local authorities and ban all such schemes.”
According to MPs, carmakers should pay for air pollution. Do you agree?