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Khan launches ULEZ expansion to every London borough

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

The Mayor of London launched the much-discussed Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion across the whole of the capital today.

Every driver now entering London will need a car that complies with the environmental standards of the new initiative, or face paying a £12.50 daily charge. During the rollout of the policy, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced he was aiming to provide cleaner air to five million people in outer London.

Motorists in the capital who have non-compliant vehicles can take advantage of the scrappage scheme on offer that was announced earlier this month.

£100m set aside for Londoners to scrap vehicles

Anyone without a compatible car will be eligible for a £2,000 grant from 21 August, as part of a £100m pot set aside to help Londoners purchase greener modes of transport. So far, £60m has been agreed to be paid to those in central and inner London areas where the greener zones have been in place since 2019.

Talk of ULEZ has dominated the front pages of late, while a legal challenge from five Conservative councils threatened to park the plans completely. Despite the publicity the expansion has received, data from Transport for London (TfL) revealed only one in 10 cars, and around 20% of vans seen driving in outer London would not comply with the standards.

With the policy now receiving the green light, Khan said: “This is a landmark day for our city which will lead to a greener, healthier London for everyone. The decision to expand the ULEZ London-wide was a difficult one, but necessary to save lives, protect children’s lungs and help prevent asthma, dementia and other health issues.

“All the evidence shows that it’s clean air zones like ULEZ that are the gamechanger in a city like London when it comes to cutting toxic air quickly and meaningfully to protect people’s health.”

London’s air ‘184 years’ ahead of air pollution targets

He continued: “It’s thanks to the ULEZ that we are now set to get London’s air to within legal limits in the next couple of years, 184 years earlier than previously projected.”

Last month, research from an online marketplace found six out of ten drivers think the rollout of ULEZ has come at the wrong time, taking into account the nation’s cost-of living crisis. But 56% of Carwow’s respondents agreed with the effort to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

Since 2019, harmful nitrogen dioxide gases are estimated to be 46% and 21% lower on the roads of central and inner London respectively, compared to if there’d have been no low emission zones at all.