World’s first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone lands in London

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The toughest global emission standard, operating 24 hours, seven days a week, launched Monday this week (April 8th) in Central London to help reduce toxic air pollution. Van drivers working in Central and millions of Londoners, will breathe cleaner air with NOx road transport emissions estimated to fall by 45 per cent in ULEZ zone.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation. I simply refuse to be yet another politician who ignores it. The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London’s air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.

Is your vehicle compliant? Not sure? TfL’s ULEZ vehicle compliance checker is available here

If the van is not Euro 6, not compliant then the bill is set at twelve pounds fifty a day, 24 hours a day in the congestion zone and the zone expands to the North and South Circular Oct 2021.

While many large van fleets are looking compliant, the effect on owner-drivers using older vehicles looks most severe. GLA have launched a van scrappage scheme for micro SMEs, what looked good is unlikely to see final mile owner van drivers qualify. To access the scrappage grant you need to be registered at Companies House and, or VAT registered, the VAT threshold is eighty five thousand pounds a year. Many owner-drivers are trading as self-employed and first views are few of them are VAT registered.

GLA report, ULEZ is already having an impact with a 55 per cent increase in the proportion of vehicles driving in the Zone daily that meet the new emission standard. The Mayor confirms 6,950 buses (75 per cent of all TfL buses) – including all buses operating in the ULEZ zone – now meet or exceed the emission standard. GLA claim, ULEZ has already led to a reduction of approximately 20 per cent in NO2 concentrations measured at roadside monitoring sites in the zone.

Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London’s harmful NOx air emissions. Air pollution has an economic cost to the capital of up to £3.7 billion every year, and £20 billion cost to the country every year. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will help address London’s toxic air health crisis that currently leads to thousands of premature deaths annually, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia.

Motorists who drive in the zone in a vehicle that does not meet the new emission standard (petrol vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 standards and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6) will have to pay a daily charge. Petrol vehicles that meet the standard have been widely available since 2006. There will be two ULEZ charge levels: £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches.

A major awareness campaign has been underway for more than nine months to ensure drivers and businesses are ready for the ULEZ, with TfL’s online vehicle checker being used more than 3.2 million times during this period. Since February 2017, when the Mayor announced the introduction of the T-charge as a stepping stone for the ULEZ, there has been:

A reduction in the total number of vehicles seen in the Central London ULEZ zone (around 11,000 fewer vehicles per day)

A 38 per cent rise in the total number of compliant vehicles in the zone between February 2017 and March 2019

An increase in the proportion of compliant vehicles in the Central London ULEZ zone from 39 per cent in February 2017 to 61 per cent in March 2019

The ULEZ is the centrepiece of a range of hard-hitting measures the Mayor has implemented to tackle London’s toxic air. From today 6,950 buses (75 per cent of all TfL buses) – including all buses operating in the ULEZ zone – meet or exceed the new emission standards. By October 2020 every bus in London - all 9,200 of TfL’s fleet - will meet or exceed the ULEZ standards – an unprecedented transformation to make London’s famous red buses go green.

The most recent data on air pollution in London reveals that more than two million Londoners still live in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2, 400,000 of whom are children under the age of 18. King’s College London research has found that, if the Mayor had not implemented a series of hard-hitting measures to tackle pollution, London’s air would not come into compliance with legal limits for another 193 years.

However, with the Mayor’s air pollution measures, King’s College analysis indicates that London’s air will reach legal limits in six years.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

This is also about social justice - people in the most deprived parts of London, who are least likely to own a car, suffer the worst effects of harmful air pollution. I will not stand by and watch children grow up with under-developed lungs in our city. The ULEZ is a vital step towards helping combat London’s illegal air.

 

Alex Williams, Transport for London's Director of City Planning, said:

The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone is a central and crucial part of the fight to improve London’s air for the benefit of everyone’s health, and it is great to see that so many drivers and businesses have already taken action to make sure their vehicles are compliant. The ULEZ will nearly halve road-based NOx emissions in central London, reducing air pollution which has led to thousands of premature deaths in the capital and stunted the development of children’s lungs. We are also doing our bit to reduce road transport emissions across London. We have upgraded our bus fleet so that all buses in central London meet the ULEZ standard, with all buses across London ULEZ compliant by October 2020. We have already reduced NOx road transport emissions in the most polluted areas by introducing Low Emission Bus Zones and are encouraging the taxi industry to switch to cleaner vehicles, with more than 1,400 electric taxis now serving London’s roads.

 

A summary of vehicle compliance data from TfL is available on TfL web.

ULEZ Discounts and exemptions are limited to the following vehicle types:

• Military vehicles;

• Specialist vehicles designed and built for mainly off-road use, such as tractors, mobile cranes etc;

• Historic Tax class vehicles;

• Vehicles constructed prior to 1 Jan 1973;

• Showman’s vehicles;

• Taxis. We are no longer licencing new diesel taxis since 2018 and we are supporting the trade to upgrade to much cleaner ‘zero emission capable’ vehicles through targeted scrappage schemes

 

Express delivery vans will pay ULEZ from Monday April 8th

Black cabs delivering parcels will not pay ULEZ

Ambulances and Fire engines were set to pay ULEZ before a memorandum of understanding was signed

IOC believes Black Taxis should be subject to the same ULEZ charge as other commercial vehicles to ensure pollution is reduced.

Is it fair that Black Taxis can deliver parcels but are exempt from the ULEZ charge and congestion charge? They have a very compelling commercial advantage over express courier vans of £24 per day per vehicle. A benefit of over £8000 per year for each diesel black taxi.

‘This is particularly surprising since Transport for London’s own figures show black taxis are responsible for 18% of road transport Nitrogen Oxide emissions in central London.’

The express sector are still reviewing how many owner van drivers fall below euro six. Some operators believe the figure to be forty per-cent of vans in the owner driver pool. GLA have talked scrappage scheme but you need to be VAT registered, (first threshold £85k a year) or registered at Companies House, take-up for owner van drivers looks very low against these criteria.

IOC believes Black Taxis should be subject to the same ULEZ charge as other commercial vehicles to ensure pollution is reduced.

 

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2019 10:46
IoC