The ULEZ is coming!
The Mayor is due to launch the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London on the 8 April 2019. It is a means to reduce air pollution and clean up the toxicity in London. Most vehicles driving in the ULEZ will need to meet new, tighter emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the area. The ULEZ will operate in the same area as the current Congestion Charge Zone and will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round – see our previous blog T Charge vs ULEZ Charge for more information.
The new ULEZ will affect the following vehicles:
If the above (and all other) vehicles don’ meet the new stricter emission standards you will have to pay the daily ULEZ charge. This is in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge. It will replace the T-Charge (officially known as the Emissions Surcharge) which was introduced in October 2017.
You can check if your vehicle will be affected by the ULEZ by using our free online ULEZ checker.
Why the ULEZ?
The ULEZ is part of a package of hard-hitting measures that the Mayor is putting in place to tackle the public health crisis created by London’s air pollution. According To City Hall, Air Pollution “Reduces The Average Londoner’s Life By Around 17 Months – This Means Up To 9,400 Early Deaths Each Year”. The ULEZ is aimed at reducing the high levels of nitrogen oxides and improve the air quality.
How do you feel as a motorist? Do you think you have been consulted enough before the implementation? Is there enough education in place for the aim of ULEZ? These are only a few questions that spring to mind when the topic of ULEZ is mentioned.
London.gov is quoted as saying, “More than 18,000 Londoners responded to the Mayor’s public consultation on ULEZ, with nearly 60 percent (11,041) strongly supporting the principle of ULEZ, and 63 percent (11,383) supporting or strongly supporting earlier implementation.” Let’s not forget London has a population of over 8.7 million… On the bright side, there is a real push for the government to provide a ‘vehicle renewal fund’ to help drivers change vehicles for a greener performance. This is especially important for the many diesel drivers who bought vehicles on the understanding that they were more environmentally friendly, based on government advice. Keep in mind some diesel vehicles only ¾ years old are not ULEZ compliant.
Is anything besides the ULEZ being done for cleaner air?
There are three main things being done to improve the quality of air in London and they are:
- From 2018 the Mayor will ensure all double-decker buses are hybrid, hydrogen or electric
- End of 2019 we will see 12 low emission bus zones in London’s worst polluted hotspots
- By October 2020, 5000 busses will upgrade to ultra-low emission
I think it’s fair to say, we all want cleaner air and reduced toxicity, especially for our children. But, a lot of motorists are still quite unhappy with the introduction of ULEZ. Share your thoughts and opinions on what could’ve been done differently and what else can the government do to support you?
ULEZ Expert Team