London Mayor plans to take Ultra Low Emission Zone city-wide

Tuesday, 15 March 2022
Credit: London Mayor’s Office

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across the whole city next year.

He has asked Transport for London to consult on the proposal which would mean that motorists in vehicles that do not meet emissions standards would have to pay £12.50 (US$16.48) a day to drive in Greater London.

Khan said the expansion is necessary to tackle the “triple challenges” of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion.

The ULEZ was extended to the north and south circular roads last October, making it 18 times larger than previously, to cover a quarter of the city. It operates in addition to the longstanding Congestion Charge.

Social justice

In weighing up options, Khan ruled out introducing a daily £3.50 Greater London Boundary Charge for vehicles driving into London and a low-level daily Clean Air Charge for all but the cleanest vehicles. He said the decision was based on the scheme that would have the biggest effect on reducing emissions and congestion relative to the potential financial impact on Londoners as a whole.

It is estimated that extending the ULEZ to the whole of Greater London would reduce NOx emissions from cars and vans by between 285 and 330 tonnes, cut CO2 emissions in outer London by between 135,000 and 150,000 tonnes, and reduce the most polluting cars on the roads by as many as 40,000 a day.

Khan commented: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don’t have time to waste.

“This is also a matter of social justice – with air pollution hitting the poorest communities the hardest. Nearly half of Londoners don’t own a car, but they are disproportionally feeling the damaging consequences polluting vehicles are causing.”

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