The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London has come into effect today, affected hundreds of thousands of vehicles driving through the capital.
Cars, vans, lorries, coaches, buses, motorbikes and all other vehicles entering central London will need to meet the new, stricter emissions standards or pay the daily ULEZ charge, in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge.
It replaces the T-Charge which was introduced in October 2017.
The daily charge for a car that does not meet new emissions standards is £12.50 on average, which will apply 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Most of the vehicles are subject to the £12.50 rate, including vans, minibuses and motorcycles.
If drivers fail to pay the ULEZ charge, they will face a penalty of £160, which is reduced to £80 if it is paid within 14 days.
Lorries, however, will face a much higher daily ULEZ charge at £100. If it isn’t paid, lorry drivers face a penalty of £1,000, which will be reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days.
Some drivers and vehicles qualify for a temporary discount or full exemption from the ULEZ charge, including residents who are registered for the Congestion Charge Discount, keepers of vehicles registered with a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicles’ tax class, London-licensed taxis, not-for-profit minibuses and agricultural and military vehicles.
Other vehicles must meet the following to be exempt:
- Euro 3 for Motorbikes – engines must not produce more than 2.3g/km of carbon monoxide and 0.15g/km of nitrogen oxide
- Euro 4 for petrol cars, minibuses, vans – engines must not produce more than 1g/km of carbon monoxide or 0.08g/km of nitrogen oxide
- Euro 6 for diesel cars, minibuses, vans – engines must not produce more than 0.5g/km of carbon monoxide, 0.08g/km of nitrogen oxide or 0.005g/km of particulate matter
Tackling air pollution
The ULEZ is part of a package of measures introduced by Mayor Sadiq Khan to tackle toxic air pollution in London.
Thousands of Londoners die prematurely each year due to long term exposure to air pollution and more than 400 schools are in areas exceeding legal air quality limits.
Latest figures have also revealed air pollution in London led to 4,000 people hospitalised over three years4,000 people hospitalised over three years.
Around half of emissions from road transport are nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.
The ULEZ is expected to help reduce these emissions to protect children from lung damage, reduce the risk of breathing illnesses and heart disease in adults.
Mr Khan previously confirmed the ULEZ will expand up to the North and South Circular roads from 25th October 2021.