Mayor Sadiq Khan has told Londoners whose cars will breach the Ultra Low Emission Zone rules to consider trading them in for a newer model if they want to avoid the £12.50-a-day levy, the Evening Standard reported.
The ultra-low emission zone is due to expand from central London to the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads on October 25. City Hall estimates that about one in five vehicles in the enlarged 140sq mile zone will be liable to pay the 24/7 levy – 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries.
The Mayor said he had sympathy with Londoners liable to pay the Ulez but said there were plenty of second-hand cars that met the new emissions rules.
NFDA has previously highlighted there are many second-hand vehicles (as well as new ICE ones) that do comply with emissions regulations and motorists need to be incentivised to ensure that they do not hold on to their old, more polluting vehicles.
Speaking to the Standard, Mr Khan said: “You don’t need to buy a brand-new vehicle. You can buy a second-hand vehicle.”
He said that, without Government support, he would be unable to make extra cash available for scrappage schemes to help low-income Londoners, small businesses and charities trade in non-compliant vehicles.
More than £52 million has been set aside but less than £10m is thought to remain. Two of the scrappage schemes had to close last year after running out of cash. The scrappage schemes for low-income or disabled Londoners and charities remain open.
He said: “It’s the poorest Londoners, often the least likely to own a car, who suffer the worst consequences of poor quality air, whether it’s poorer children with stunted lungs, or poorer adults with asthma, heart disease and cancer.
“The good news is that for your vehicle to be ULEZ compliant isn’t that expensive. You don’t need to buy a new car. All you need to do is have a petrol car that is [newer] than 2005 or a diesel car that is more recent than 2015.”
He said there had been a “massive” increase in vehicles in central London that were compliant with the Ulez in advance of its launch in April 2019.
The latest figures show that about 80,000 vehicles a day drive in the zone, which shares the same boundaries as the congestion charge, but fewer than 8,000 a day have to pay.
Mr Khan will come under further pressure at City Hall on Thursday during Mayor’s Question Time to offer more help to Londoners to upgrade their vehicles.
He said: “In the absence of support from the Government, we aren’t able to increase the amount of money we allocate to the scrappage scheme, which is currently £52m.”
An estimated 3.8 million Londoners live in the expanded ULEZ.
The ULEZ is primarily designed to reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide, which results from vehicle exhaust emissions, which fell by 37 per cent in central London by the end of last year, though the ULEZ’s subsequent impact has been “difficult to quantify due to the knock-on impacts of the pandemic”.
Between 2016 and 2019, the reduction in NO2 in central London was five times greater than the national average – indicating that knowledge of the zone’s launch led many motorists to pre-emptively switch to greener vehicles, highlights the Evening Standard.
Motorists can check here if their vehicle complies with the ULEZ emission zone here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/
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