The most-polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to drive within central London from 8 April 2019 under proposals announced by the Mayor of London to help combat the capital’s air crisis.
Sadiq Khan is proposing to expand this charge, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), across Greater London for heavy diesel vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries, in 2020, and up to the North and South Circular roads for cars and vans in 2021.
The Mayor has already confirmed the £10 T-Charge, which will start in October this year. He is now proposing, following a public consultation he is launching today, that this will be replaced by the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London from Monday 8th April 2019. The ULEZ in 2019 will cover the same area as the existing congestion charging zone.
Petrol vehicles that don’t meet Euro 4 standards and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 standards will have to pay a ULEZ daily fee (£12.50 for cars, vans and motorbikes; £100 for buses, coaches and HGVs) to drive in the zone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Approximately petrol cars more than 13 years old in 2019, and diesel cars more than 4 years old in 2019, will not meet the new standards. The total cost, with the congestion charge added (during the times of day it is applicable), for motorists with non-compliant cars will be £24 a day.
The ULEZ will apply to all vehicle types, except black taxis. It is estimated that introducing ULEZ in central London will result in nearly a 50 per cent reduction in road transport NOx emissions in 2020.
Once the Mayor has finished consulting on the current ULEZ proposals in June, he wants to start consulting on actions that go even further. This would include expanding the ULEZ across a larger area, to cover nearly all of Greater London. This expanded zone would apply to heavy diesel vehicles such as buses, coaches and lorries and it would be implemented in 2020.
Following that, the Mayor wants to go even further still and consult Londoners on extending the ULEZ area applying to light vehicles, such as cars, vans, minibuses and motorcycles up to the North / South Circular road. This would be implemented in 2021.
These timescales would provide Londoners, motorists coming into the capital from elsewhere and businesses which will be affected, sufficient time to take the necessary steps to prepare for these new standards. They also reflect the minimum amount of time needed for TfL to consult on and implement such technically complex schemes over such large parts of London.
Jonathan Grigg, Professor of Paediatric and Environmental Medicine, Queen Mary University of London said: “The Mayor of London is to be congratulated in bringing forward the date of the ULEZ. Reducing diesel emissions in the congestion charge zone will reduce exposure to toxic soot particles and gases. To maximise the effectiveness of this initiative, the Government must now act to remove the current toxic fleet of diesel cars, vans and buses from all our roads”