Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into force in central London

Trucks and buses older than Euro-VI now have to pay £100 to enter central London

Trucks, buses and coaches that do not meet Euro-VI emissions standards now have to pay a new £100 fee to enter the centre of London after the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) came into force today.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the scheme is being brought in because thousands of Londoners are dying early every year as a result of toxic air, with an increased risk of cancer, asthma, dementia and stroke.

He claimed the ULEZ, which operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, will “help clean our air and reduce harmful road transport emissions”.

Mr Khan commissioned a study by King’s College London and Imperial College London which found that poor air quality leads to about 1,000 London hospital admissions for asthma and serious lung conditions every year.

He said: “As someone who developed adult-onset asthma over the last few years, I know from personal experience that London’s toxic air is damaging people’s health.

“This study is a stark reminder that air pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable Londoners and I’m doing everything in my power to protect children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions from our filthy air.”

The ULEZ initially covers the same area as the congestion charge zone, but will be extended to the whole of inner London within the North and South Circular roads from October 2021.

The new ULEZ will get a whole lot bigger in 2021.

All vehicle types apart from black taxis are liable for the ULEZ charge unless they meet certain emissions standards or exemptions.

Non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches face a £100 daily fee.

It is estimated that 3,000 lorries, 35,000 vans and 100,000 cars may be affected every day once the zone is expanded in 2021.

City Hall figures show the proportion of all vehicles (not just trucks) that are not compliant with the required emissions standards fell from 61% in February 2017 to 39% last month.

The ULEZ was announced by former London mayor Boris Johnson, but his successor Mr Khan brought its start date forward and decided on the 2021 extension.

There has been concern that small businesses and charities will be unfairly hit by the charge as they are less able to afford to upgrade their vehicles.

London director of business organisation the CBI, Eddie Curzon, described the ULEZ as a “really positive step” but warned that “smaller firms can struggle to afford the switch to low-emission vehicles”.

He said: “To make a success of the ULEZ, it is crucial that City Hall works with firms to help them take advantage of new technologies and support them, where required, to accelerate the take-up of low emission vehicles.”

Greater London Authority Conservative group leader Gareth Bacon claimed Mr Khan’s decision to bring forward the initiative by a year has “caught small businesses and charities on the hop”.

He added: “The damage caused by the early introduction of the central ULEZ will pale into insignificance compared to the impact of its extension to the North and South Circulars in 2021.”

Transport for London is running a scrappage scheme to help the smallest businesses and charities switch to cleaner vans or minibuses, but there is no help for truck or bus operators working in the capital.

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://thetruckexpert.co.uk
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites, The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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