London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the city’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone will begin in central London from the 8th of April, 2019, and will reduce lethal air pollution and reduce harmful emissions from up to 60,000 vehicles daily.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced last week the latest in his long-running fight against harmful emissions in his city with confirmation that the long-awaited Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London will kick off on the 8th of April, 2019 — almost a year before the nearby City of Oxford will introduce its Zero Emissions Zone. This follows in the wake of the introduction of the new Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) last month which is aimed at deterring older and the most-polluting vehicles by imposing a £10 Emissions Surcharge per day on entering the inner city — a move intended to pave the way for the introduction of the 2019 ULEZ.
“London’s lethal air is one of the biggest health challenges of this generation,” said Sadiq Khan last week.
“We can’t continue breathing in air so toxic it harms children’s lung development and causes chronic illness and premature death. I am determined to take the bold action needed to address this scourge once and for all.
“So I am pleased to confirm that from 8th April 2019 – 17 months earlier than planned – stricter standards for diesel vehicles will apply 24/7 across central London. This builds on the success of the T-Charge and is part of my comprehensive plan to clean London’s air.”
Mayor Khan announced the introduction of the T-Charge all the way back in July of 2016, but has since doubled down on his plans to clean up the City of London. On top of the T-Charge — which will be replaced by the ULEV — Sadiq Khan also introduced plans in August that will turn his city into the world’s first National Park City and one of the greenest cities on Earth.
The ULEZ itself will introduce two charge levels — £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches, obviously intended to make entering the city in polluting vehicles immediately unsustainable. These charges will be on top of existing Congestion Charges, which would result in the more polluting cars and vans paying £24 per day and lorries paying £111.50 during Congestion Charge hours.
- NOx emissions from HGVs are expected to reduce by nearly 50%.
- Coach and non-TfL bus emissions will reduce by more than a third.
- Emissions from cars and vans are expected to reduce by 8 and 12% respectively (it should be noted that while the reduction in emissions is smaller than for larger vehicles, their savings make up nearly one-third of the emissions reductions in central London).
- More than 30,000 people in central London (a 40% reduction), and 100,000 people across London, will no longer live in areas exceeding the NO2 limits.
- 19 schools in central London and 42 schools across London will no longer be in areas exceeding legal limits in 2019 as a result.
- The ULEZ benefits should be even greater by 2020 with an estimated 45% reduction in road transport emissions.
“Air pollution on many of London’s roads is at illegal and harmful levels,” said Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation.
“This is why we strongly support the early implementation of the ULEZ. Air pollution leaves people coughing, breathless and at risk of long term health concerns. For those with lung conditions it could leave them completely housebound to avoid the worsening of their health.
“Early implementation of the ULEZ could dramatically improve people’s quality of life and reduce the burden on health services. However, further and faster action from the government is still needed. Traffic is the major cause of filthy air. A targeted scrappage scheme is needed to help people move to cleaner vehicles. This must prioritise people on low incomes and those with health conditions who find it hardest to get around.”