Mayor Plans to Introduce Daily Charge for Older Cars in London

Ultra-Low Emission Zone to be extended to the South Circular by 2020

Mayor Plans to Introduce Daily Charge for Older Cars in London

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has announced radical new plans to reduce pollution in London.

In what his office describe as the toughest crackdown on the most polluting vehicles by any major city around the world the proposals would mean that a substantial proportion of the cars currently owned by Londoners would need to be replaced. The Mayor explains the measures are necessary to deal with what he describes as a public health emergency.

The most significant change is the extension of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) out to the North and South Circular for cars by 2020. This would mean a daily charge for any diesel car not Euro 6 compliant (registered from September 1, 2015) or any petrol car not Euro 4 compliant (registered from January 1, 2006). Motorcycles and similar vehicles to be Euro 3 compliant.

Large vans and minibuses would need to be Euro 6 compliant for diesel engines and Euro 4 compliant for petrol engines. Heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches to be Euro 6 compliant. Non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £100 on a London wide basis.

It is understood that the charges will be enforced by number-plate recognition software around the South Circular which would mean that parts of Putney and Wandsworth would be within the boundary but Wimbledon would be outside. Residents within the zone would have a three year grace period to change their cars so wouldn’t need to own a compliant vehicle until 2023.

The current daily charge for non-compliant vehicles with the ULEZ is £12.50 a day for cars/vans/motorcycles and £100 for coaches/HGVs/buses. The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week

In addition an emissions surcharge will be made in the Congestion Charge Zone of £10 for any vehicle not meeting ULEZ standards.

A consultation is taking place on the Mayor’s Clean Air Action plan with a deadline of 29 July for the public to give their views. The Mayor’s office say further consultations will take place but the first stage of the implementation of the plan will begin next year.

The ULEZ will be introduced a year early in Central London in 2019 and then extended to the North and South Circulars in 2020. At the same time a national diesel scrappage scheme will be proposed for the Government to implement.

There is also an acceleration of the time-table that double-decker buses must meet ULEZ standards and ‘clean bus corridors’ will be implemented to tackle the worst pollution hotspots such as Putney High Street by delivering cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death.

“It is the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act of 1956, which was passed following the great London smogs of the 1950s. The legislation made a huge difference to life in London and saved countless lives. British politicians at the time did an amazing thing and responded on the scale that was required. Today we face another pollution public health emergency in London and now it’s our turn to act for the good of Londoners and for future generations to come.”

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: “We welcome the Mayor’s plans to improve air quality in London. Air pollution, in particular traffic pollution, plays a role in both triggering asthma attacks and causing asthma in both children and adults. According to the latest figures from the Health Survey for England toxic air affects nearly 600,000 people living in London with asthma, so it’s vital that action is taken to improve air quality.”

Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Air quality in London requires urgent attention, and so we welcome the new Mayor’s commitment to the issue and the speedy launch of this consultation. With over 9,000 Londoners dying prematurely each year as a result of air pollution, it’s vital that action is taken and boroughs stand ready to build on the good work they are already doing. We now look forward to working more closely with the Mayor to bring about a healthier future for London.”

July 5, 2016