London to introduce Ultra-Low Emission Zone in April 2019
The world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be
introduced in central London from 8 April, 2019 - 17 months earlier than the
previously announced 7 September, 2020 start date.
The ULEZ will cover the same area as the capital’s existing
congestion charging zone. Petrol vehicles that don’t meet Euro4 emission standards
and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro6 emission standards will have to pay
a ULEZ daily fee (£12.50 for cars, vans and motorbikes; £100 for buses, coaches
and HGVs) to drive in the zone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
It means petrol cars more than 13 years old in 2019, and
diesel cars more than four years old in 2019, are unlikely to meet the new
standards. The total cost, with the congestion charge added (during the times
of day it is applicable), for drivers with non-compliant cars will be £24 a day
(£23 for congestion charge fleet auto pay customers).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already confirmed the £10
T-Charge, which will start in October this year. He is now proposing, following
a public consultation launched on Tuesday (4 April),that will be replaced by
Furthermore, the Mayor is proposing to extend the ULEZ across
Greater London for heavy diesel vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries,
in 2020, and up to the North and South Circular roads for cars, vans, minibuses
and motorcycles in 2021.
In launching the consultation, the Mayor said he was committed
to taking ambitious action to protect Londoners from the damaging health
impacts of air pollution from toxic vehicle emissions.
The ULEZ will apply to all vehicle types, except black
taxis. It is estimated that introducing the initiative in central London will
result in nearly a 50% reduction in road transport NOx emissions in 2020.
Once the Mayor has finished consulting on the current
ULEZ proposals in June, he will start consulting on actions that will expand
the scheme in 2020 and again 12 months later.
The Mayor said that the planned timescales would provide
Londoners, motorists coming into the capital from elsewhere and businesses
which will be affected, sufficient time to take the necessary steps to prepare
for the new standards. They also reflected the minimum amount of time needed
for TfL to consult on and implement such technically complex schemes over such
large parts of London.
Mr Khan said: “The air in London is lethal and I will not
stand by and do nothing. I am introducing a new T-Charge this October and
subject to consultation, I want to introduce the ULEZ in central London in
April 2019. This alone will mean the capital has the toughest emission standard
of any world city.
“But the scale of our air quality challenge is so big
that I need to go further. I want to expand the ULEZ from 2020 for heavy
vehicles such as buses, coaches and lorries so that all of London will benefit
from cleaner air. Then from 2021, I want to expand it up to the North and South
Circular roads for light vehicles, including cars and vans. These measures will
help improve the air that millions of Londoners breathe.
“I want to announce my intention to consult on these
proposals in good time so that business and those affected by new charges will
have time to make changes they need to adapt to our low emission requirements.”
He also called on the government to “step up and match my
ambition to transform the appalling air we breathe”.
Mr Khan said: “Ministers need to deliver a national
vehicle scrappage fund, reform fiscal incentives like Vehicle Excise Duty and
pass a powerful new Clean Air Act to end the toxic smog in London once and for
If a vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards
and the daily charge is not paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued
payable by the registered owner or operator. The penalty would be in addition
to any congestion charge or Low Emission Zone penalties received. For
motorcycles, cars, vans and minibuses the penalty is £130 (reduced to £65 if
paid within 14 days) and for HGVs, coaches and buses it will be £1,000 (reduced
to £500 if paid within 14 days).
The consultation on the start date of the central London
ULEZ runs until 25 June. Other proposals will be consulted on later this year.
John Chuhan, chief risk officer at vehicle leasing and
fleet management company Alphabet, said: “As we predicted, 2017 will be the
year when the changes around low and zero emission mobility - which have been
discussed at length and predicted for so long - really start to be felt.
“The announcement by London Mayor Sadiq Khan of his plans
to bring forward the implementation date for the new ULEZ to 8 April, 2019
proves that electric vehicles and ultra-low emission vehicles are truly here to
stay and their numbers are only set to rise.
“For those business leaders mistakenly thinking that this
is a ‘London-centric’ issue, the expected unveiling of new air pollution
measures from Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom should demonstrate this is
an issue for the whole UK, not simply the South East corner.
“UK businesses, whether they are large corporates or
SMEs, need to act now to ensure they are prepared for the drastic changes demanded
by the sustainable, low emission future of transport. Simply ignoring the
matter won’t make it go away and waiting until 2019 will be too late.
“If organisations want to continue to access metropolitan
areas to do business, avoid incurring significant additional costs, attract the
next generation of talent and live up to their CSR commitments then they need
to put measures in place now.
“These include reviewing business travel, company car and
LCV policies, understanding vehicle journey patterns for both private and
business usage, putting plans in place to convert existing fleet to ultra-low
emission vehicles where it’s appropriate, as well as the provision of a
charging infrastructure at work, home and on the move.”
Freight Transport Association (FTA) called the ULEZ “troubling news” for small
businesses and specialist hauliers serving London.
Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London and the South East, said: “We need to
continue the improvement in London’s air quality which is happening anyway, but
this regulation taking effect in 2019 will severely disadvantage small
businesses working in the capital’s centre.
impact will be especially hard for van users, as by 2019 there will only be two
and a half years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet - and no second hand
compliant vehicles available for purchase at all.”
on the expansion of the ULEZ in 2020 to Greater London for HGVs and to Inner
London for vans in 2021, Ms Chapman said: “It is encouraging that this is not
happening in 2019 as had been suggested: this shows the Mayor has listened to
some of the concerns that had been raised.
the expansions of the Zone will still increase the burden on business
exponentially. We are calling for businesses based in the affected area to have
access to a sunset clause, such as has been offered to private residents,
allowing them greater time to comply with the change required without the need
for unnecessary and potentially crippling additional charges for new vehicles.
a time when London’s businesses face an increasingly challenging trading
environment, the Mayor should be taking every possible step to help the
capital’s small businesses, and we will urge through this consultation for more
consideration to be given to those affected by the introduction of these new
Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We all want a cleaner London. But don’t let
the Mayor’s quest for clean air turn the nation’s capital into a ghost town.
thousands of restaurants, shops and tourist attractions that make London one of
the world’s major tourist centres are massively reliant on an efficient
delivery network. That must not be jeopardised.
engine technology is, in effect, a clean air plant - the air that emerges from
the exhaust is actually cleaner than the air that goes in. The majority of
hauliers entering the capital on a regular basis are already using trucks that
meet the Euro6 standard - but many are not.
will be facing an additional £24,000 per year in fines. Many will be forced out
of business while others will have no alternative but to pass the additional
cost on to their customers. The knock on effect will be an increase in prices
for consumers, including the millions of tourists that come to London each
RHA said it would be pushing hard for the early implementation of a scrappage
scheme as an incentive to those hauliers using pre-Euro6 trucks to buy the
Burnett concluded: “To impose a £100 fine on those operators who simply cannot
afford the new, cleaner engines will see jobs lost and hauliers put out of