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London ULEZ to start in April 2019

London mayor Sadiq Khan has set 8 April 2019 as the start date for London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). From that date, certain more polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to get into the city centre. 

The ULEZ aims to improve air quality in London, Khan says: “The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing". Earlier, Khan announced a £10 'toxicity charge', starting this October. That charge will be in effect between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday for diesel or petrol cars registered before 2006. 

Khan also backs a UK-wide diesel scrappage scheme, which would offer grants of £3,500 to get up to 70,000 polluting vans and minibuses off London roads, as well as £1,000 payments to help scrap London's oldest taxis.

Under the ULEZ scheme, the most polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to enter central London from April 2019. The zone would initially be the same as the current Congestion Charge zone (red on map), but Khan proposes extending the ULEZ across greater London for heavy diesel vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries, in 2020, and up to the North and South Circular roads in 2021 (orange on map).

The ULEZ scheme will apply to the worst polluters from all types of vehicles, except black cabs – much to the criticism of Uber. The ride-hailing company points out that black taxis are responsible for 18% of road transport nitrogen oxide emissions in central London.

Image: Jimmy Barrett, CC BY-SA 2.0; TfL

Authored by: Frank Jacobs