New charge will affect drivers of most polluting vehicles, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Drivers are being urged to check their cars ahead of the rollout of a new zone designed to cut pollution into the south of Enfield.
Transport for London (TfL) wants motorists to ensure their vehicles comply with the standards for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will be extended to the North Circular Road next year.
Drivers with older cars that do not meet the emissions standards will have to pay £12.50 per day to travel into the zone starting from 25th October.
TfL has launched an online tool that allows people to check if their vehicles comply by entering their registration details.
Lorraine Hinds, engagement officer at TfL, told a meeting of Enfield Council’s environment forum this week: “Our main message is first and foremost to check your vehicle – 80% of vehicles are compliant, so most people will find their vehicle is compliant anyway.”
Lorraine claimed a van scrappage scheme set up by TfL had been a “huge success” since its launch in February 2019, adding it had “supported small businesses and charities to replace vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ standards”.
She said the scheme – which offered payments to owners to scrap polluting vehicles and buy compliant ones – “had committed over £30million to help thousands of small and micro businesses”.
Esther Johnson, major projects consultation team manager at TfL, said the transport body was working with North Middlesex University Hospital to make sure “there is a strategy that does not deter or penalise patients, and of course staff, travelling to the hospital”.
Patients from Enfield and other boroughs regularly travel across the North Circular to attend appointments at the hospital.
Conservative councillor Lindsay Rawlings raised concerns that people were “starting to panic” about the ULEZ roll-out, with some drivers claiming to have bought vehicles the previous owners said were ULEZ-compliant – but when they checked online, they found they were not.
Esther said the TfL portal used data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, and the information “should be up to date”. She suggested checking the vehicle documents to ensure it is ULEZ-compliant by meeting or exceeding the ‘Euro 6’ engine standard.
John West, from The Enfield Society, said he would rather have seen the ULEZ widened to the M25 following concerns there would be an increase in high-polluting vehicles on the North Circular Road after its expansion.
Lorraine said the capital’s air quality was already improving, and 96% of roads in outer London will comply with the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide by the end of 2021.
“Within central London and more up towards the north and south circulars, there is a major problem there we need to address – and that’s the reason why it has been taken up to those areas,” she added.
“The remaining roads will be more effectively dealt with by targeted local measures.”
Check the TfL portal to find out if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant: