Boris Johnson gives go-ahead for London ULEZ

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Non-compliance coaches and buses will be charged £100 to enter the area from September 7, 2020

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has confirmed the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

The ULEZ will launch in central London on September 7, 2020. It will require vehicles travelling in the Congestion Charge Zone of central London to meet new emission standards at all times or pay a daily charge.

An extra £25m from Government will be used to provide grants to help taxi drivers cover the cost of upgrading, in addition to £40m already committed to assist taxi drivers whose vehicles would be affected by tighter age limits.

By 2020, in addition to the ULEZ, Transport for London (TfL) has committed to ensuring that all 300 single decker buses operating in central London are zero emission and all 3,000 double-decker buses are hybrid, including 800 New Routemasters.

It is claimed the full ULEZ package will halve emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) from vehicle exhausts in central London. More than 80% of central London would be expected to meet the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual EU legal limits in 2020.

TfL will continue to lobby the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for further funding from its £500m funding pot to support the uptake of zero emission capable vehicles and put in place supporting charging infrastructure.

The ULEZ will require:

  • Heavy goods vehicles, coaches and buses – Euro 6 (registered from January 1, 2014, except TfL buses which are required to meet a higher standard. Non- compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £100;
  • Large vans and minibuses – Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from September 1, 2016 and Euro 4 for petrol engines registered from January 1, 2007. Non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50;
  • Cars and small vans – Euro 6 for diesel engines registered from September 1, 2015 and Euro 4 for petrol engines registered from January 1, 2006;
  • Motorcycles and similar vehicles – Euro 3, registered from July 1, 2007.

The announcement follows consideration of over 16,000 responses received during the ULEZ consultation from the public, businesses and stakeholders. 79% of respondents said it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to tackle poor air quality in London and 58% said they ‘support’ or ‘strongly support’ the introduction of the ULEZ.

Following the consultation, the Mayor announced that vehicles adapted for disabled people will have a three year ‘sunset period’, meaning that they do not need to comply with the emissions standards until September 2023. H also confirmed that vehicles in the 40 year rolling vehicle tax exemption for classic vehicles are exempt from the ULEZ standards.

The Mayor and TfL have intentionally confirmed the emission standards over five years in advance of the introduction of the ULEZ in September 2020 to give sufficient warning and preparation time to affected drivers as well as to accelerate the take up of low emission vehicles and stimulate the low emission vehicle market.

Boris Johnson, said: “The world’s first ULEZ is an essential measure to help improve air quality in our city, protect the health of Londoners, and lengthen our lead as the greatest city on earth.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome this announcement… which will build on the UK’s strengths in low emission technology.”