London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which bans the most polluting cars from driving in the capital, will cover every borough by August 2023, it has been confirmed today.
The move by London mayor Sadiq Khan means the current zone – which was expanded only last October to cover all areas within the North and South Circular Roads – will move all the way to the boundary of the current Low Emission Zone (LEZ) from 29 August next year. The M25 will not be covered.
It means only cars that meet strict emission requirements will be allowed to enter London areas: Euro 4 engine compliance for petrol cars (which includes any cars registered after 1 January 2006) and Euro 6 (after 1 January 2016) for diesel. Vehicles that don’t meet these standards will continue to pay £12.50 a day. Those who don’t pay will be fined an increased £180 (currently £160).
The zone will also continue to operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year (apart from Christmas day).
Figures recently released by Transport for London (TfL) show that between November 2021 and June 2022, an average of 1.9 million journeys were made into the zone – initially set up to cover London’s Congestion Zone before being expanded last year – each month
Despite that large number of vehicles, fresh data revealed the ULEZ had reduced roadside pollution levels by 44% in central London and 20% in inner London, prompting today’s decision. This was coupled with a public consultation, which ran between May and July 2022, that showed 59% of respondents agreed more needed to be done to tackle toxic air.
Cleaner air is coming to outer London.Today I’m announcing that we’re expanding the #ULEZ London-wide in a move that will bring cleaner air to *5 million* more Londoners. Here’s why pic.twitter.com/nAWjTweJ6b
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) November 25, 2022
Khan said: “Expanding the ULEZ London-wide has not been an easy decision. The easy thing for me would have been to kick the can down the road. But in the end, public health comes before political expediency.
“We have too often seen measures delayed around the world to tackle air pollution and the climate crisis because it’s viewed as being too hard or politically inconvenient. But there’s no time to waste when people’s lives are on the line and we are facing a climate crisis. ”