Ulez set to cover whole of London by next summer

Mayor of London makes decision to extend Ultra Low Emissions Zone following public consultation, reports Joe Talora, Local Democracy Reporter

Close up of an Ultra Low Emission Zone sign
Ulez was extended to the North Circular last October but will now be extended to the whole of London (credit Transport for London)

Sadiq Khan has announced that he intends to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (Ulez) to cover the whole of London following a public consultation.

It means that from 29th August next year, drivers of older vehicles that do not meet strict emissions standards will have to pay the daily £12.50 charge to drive anywhere in London.

Ulez arrived in Enfield for the first time last year, but currently only applies to people driving south of the North Circular.

City Hall has said an estimated five million people will breathe cleaner air as a result of the expansion, despite widespread opposition to the plans.

Around 60% of respondents to Transport for London’s public consultation are thought to have opposed the expansion, although a YouGov poll commissioned by City Hall found that only 27% of Londoners were opposed.

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Khan said expanding Ulez in the face of widespread opposition was “one of the toughest decisions I have made” but stressed that the public consultation was “not a referendum”.

The mayor said: “Let me be frank, this decision was not made lightly. The easy thing to do would’ve been to kick the can down the road. But in the end, public health comes before political expediency, and I will not stand idly by while Londoners die, and our children are choked by poisonous fumes.”

In addition to announcing the expansion of Ulez, the mayor also announced he would introduce a new £110million scrappage scheme to help lower income Londoners get older, non-compliant cars off the road and swap them for compliant vehicles.

Nick Rogers, transport spokesperson for City Hall’s Conservative group, said that “now is not the time” to expand the zone and “hammer” more Londoners with the £12.50 levy.

He said: “The official report from TfL shows an overwhelming majority – about 60% – of respondents are opposed to Sadiq Khan’s damaging plans to expand Ulez. This increases to 68% when you exclude organised campaigns, and a staggering 80% of people who work in outer London are against.

“Now is not the time to hammer Londoners with a £12.50 daily cost-of-living charge. Residents have made their views very clear to the mayor: they do not want the Ulez expansion. The mayor must listen to them, scrap these plans and use the £250 million saved on real measures that tackle air pollution.”

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