London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone to expand to North and South Circular roads in 2021

Aug 15 | 2018

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirmed on 8 June that the UK capital’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021.

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone and will affect large numbers of polluting vehicles that don’t comply with strict emission standards. It is estimated that 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries will be affected by the expanded zone and tighter standards every day.North Circular (Philafrenzy/Wikimedia Commons)

The Mayor believes the measures will deliver a major improvement to Londoners’ health by reducing the toxic air quality that is currently responsible for thousands of premature deaths and other serious conditions.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action. 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.”

The expanded zone will be managed in the same way as the central London ULEZ, which is being delivered in April 2019, 17 months earlier than planned and will operate on top of the congestion charge, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Trucks, including removals lorries, that do not meet the Euro 6 Standard will be required to pay £100 per day to enter the zone.

Chris Snelling

The Freight Transport Association’s Head of UK Policy, Christopher Snelling commented, “While some large logistics operators will have mostly compliant fleets, the real losers here will be small companies reliant on their lorries or vans.  Small firms tend to buy second-hand so will have older vehicles that do not reach the latest emissions standards and will really struggle to raise the loans they will need to buy compliant vehicles a few years earlier than they would have.”

According to recent studies by the University of Oxford, the health damage from cars and vans costs £6 billion annually to the NHS and society, with the bill from London vehicles totalling £650 million a year.

Editor’s comment: If this measure is likely to save so much money, would it be too much to ask for some subsidy to help vehicle operators in the first year or two?

Photo: Christopher Snelling 
Photo:The North Circular (Philafrenzy/Wikimedia Commons)