Sadiq Khan announces ULEZ expansion to cover all of London
London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is to be expanded to cover all of London, the mayor has announced.
From 29 August, drivers of the most polluting cars will have to pay £12.50 a day to enter to the Greater London Authority boundary.
The expansion of the zone has been strongly opposed by campaigners.
But Sadiq Khan says it will mean five million more people will benefit from cleaner air.
“The ULEZ so far has been transformational, reducing harmful pollution levels by almost a half in central London,” Mr Khan said.
“But there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the health of young Londoners and leading to thousands of early deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths in the outer London boroughs.”
Under the current scheme, drivers are charged to enter London’s north and south-circular orbital roads but the charge is not applied across the capital.
City Hall says it believes about 200,000 non-compliant vehicles are driven regularly in London, a figure it expects to fall rapidly.
There will be an increased scrappage scheme fund of £110m and those who scrap more polluting cars will also be offered travelcards.
Under the plans, disabled drivers will be entitled to a grace period until 2027.
Bus networks will also be improved in outer London, the mayor said.
However, the plans have been opposed by some politicians, who argue public transport is not as reliable or efficient in outer London as in other parts of the capital.
The Federation of Small Businesses, which has opposed any ULEZ expansion, believes many of its members in Outer London will be badly hit.
Among them is Linda Quayle, who owns and runs a bridal shop in Bexley Village, which will fall inside the expanded ULEZ.
“It’s going to be a nightmare,” she told BBC London.
“Most of my customers drive and adding in this ULEZ charge, they’re just not going to bother.
“There’s no way around it to get to me,” she said. “I survived lockdown, this is the last thing I need now.”
Ms Quayle also criticised the timing of the decision, as it comes in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
Motoring groups have said they believe it unfairly penalises drivers.
Brian Gregory, policy director at the Alliance of British Drivers, said he thought Mr Khan was wrong about the public health benefits of the scheme.
“His whole basis for extending the ULEZ zone on the basis of public health doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.
“TfL (Transport for London) has an enormous hole in its budget and Mayor Khan is looking to fill that hole by any means that he can.”