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London's new 'ultra-low emission zone' that will force a million motorists to pay £12.50 a day



London's new 'ultra-low emission zone' that will force a million motorists to pay £12.50 a day or get off the road 'is expected to raise up to SIX times as much as the congestion charge'

  • The Ultra Low Emission Zone is being introduced in central London next year
  • From Oct 2021 it will cover an area surrounded by the North and South Circular
  • The £12.50 per day fee means cash-strapped Transport for London will collect between £700 million and £1.5 billion every year

By Joe Middleton For Mailonline

Published: 12:06 EST, 9 December 2018 | Updated: 13:15 EST, 9 December 2018

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A new London pollution charge covering large swathes of London is expected to hit one million drivers and raise six times as much as the congestion charge.

Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed that ULEZ - being introduced in Central London next year - will stretch to cover an area surrounded by the North and South Circular roads from October 2021.

The £12.50 per day fee means cash-strapped Transport for London will collect between £700 million and £1.5 billion every year- a significantly higher amount than the £230 million collected from the congestion charge.

Gareth Bacon, leader of the Conservative group on the London Assembly, told The Times: 'This could be Sadiq's poll tax.

'It has flown under the radar and people do not know what is going to hit them.'

Mr Bacon, even went so far as to reference the current protests in France and that Mr Khan could have his own 'gilets jaunes' moment once Londoners realise how much they could be paying.

ULEZ will cover central London from 2019, but under the new plans will be extended massively to all of inner London two years later
ULEZ will cover central London from 2019, but under the new plans will be extended massively to all of inner London two years later

ULEZ will cover central London from 2019, but under the new plans will be extended massively to all of inner London two years later

Mr Khan (pictured) has been pushing hard for London to spearhead new measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the capital since being sworn in as mayor in 2016
Mr Khan (pictured) has been pushing hard for London to spearhead new measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the capital since being sworn in as mayor in 2016

Mr Khan (pictured) has been pushing hard for London to spearhead new measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the capital since being sworn in as mayor in 2016

Mr Khan confirmed the extension of the ULEZ earlier this year after concerns about pollution in the capital.

The first part of the scheme will start on April 8, 2018, and vehicles driving within the area will need to meet new tighter emissions standards or pay the daily charge to travel. 

It means those driving older vehicles across a major part London – an area 18 times greater than the central zone – will face a £12.50 daily fee if they use their cars.  

By 2021, owners of petrol cars that are more than 15 years old and diesel vehicles that are more than six years old will have to pay £12.50 to use them in London.

It is estimated that an additional 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries might be affected by the expanded zone every day.

But TfL's own 'integrated impact assessment' says about 565,000 cars registered in the capital will be liable if driven.

It also says 276,000 vans registered in London would be affected by it, as well as minicabs and HGVs, taking the total vehicles that could be eligible to one million.

Khan made the announcement earlier this year at the same time  he launched a new study to measure the impact of air pollution reduction strategies on the health of children in London and Luton.

Confirmation of the expanded ultra-low emission zone comes after research showed the health damage from cars and vans across the UK costs £6billion a year to the NHS and society, with the bill in London £650million.

Officials said expanding the ULEZ and stricter standards for heavy vehicles across London would result in more than 100,000 Londoners no longer living in areas exceeding legal air quality limits in 2021 and all areas in the capital are expected to see reductions in pollution.

Mr Khan previously said: 'Tackling London's lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action.

Vehicles affected by ULEZ 

It's not just cars and vans that will be subject to extra charges in London.

These ULEZ non-compliant vehicles will also be impacted:  

- Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, quadricycles

- 4X4 light utility vehicles and picksups

- Motorised horseboxes

- Ambulances and fire engines

- Motorcaravans

- Minibuses

- Lorries

- Buses and coaches

- Breakdown & recovery vehicles

- Snow ploughs and gritters

- Refuse collection vehicles and road sweepers

- Concrete mixers and tippers

'Air pollution is a national health crisis and I refuse to stand back as thousands of Londoners breathe in air so filthy that it shortens our life expectancy, harms our lungs and worsens chronic illness.

'I promised hard-hitting measures to tackle our shameful air pollution and today City Hall is confirming the next stage of our plans to expand the ultra-low emission zone up to the North and South Circular roads.'

Nicholas Lyes, RAC roads policy spokesman, previously said the expansion, which will cover huge residential areas within the North and South Circular road, gives very little time for residents and small business owners to purchase vehicles that are compliant with the Mayor's emission standards.

'Many now face the daunting challenge of having to spend substantial amounts of money on a newer vehicle or face a daily charge of £12.50 to use their vehicles from October 2021,' he said.

'These time pressures and costs will be keenest felt by those from low income backgrounds, as well as those who work in roles such as hospitality and depend on using a car at night when public transport is not readily available.

'Motorists currently have no quick and easy means of knowing for certain what Euro emissions standard their car, or one they are looking to buy, meets – so it is absolutely vital that a central database is developed as quickly as possible.'

Mr Khan has been pushing hard for London to spearhead new measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the capital since being sworn in as mayor in 2016.

This includes the introduction of the T-Charge last year, which will be superseded by ULEZ in 2019.

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