It is now less than one month to go until the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expands up to, but not including, the North and South Circular Roads on 25 October 2021.
The central London ULEZ has been transformational since its introduction in April 2019, helping to reduce roadside concentrations of the poisonous gas nitrogen dioxide in the central zone by nearly half.
Expanding the ULEZ will bring the health benefits of cleaner air to millions more people both inside and outside of the zone.
Many Londoners have already taken action to prepare and 80 per cent of cars seen travelling in the expanded zone now meet the emission standards meaning they will not need to pay.
Additionally, 6 in 10 households in the expanded zone do not own a car.
Importantly, the ULEZ does not operate in isolation. On 1 March 2021, tougher standards for heavy vehicles operating with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) were introduced.
A new report shows that six months on from their introduction, these changes are already delivering results. 95 per cent of large and heavy vehicles operating in London now meet the standards, up from 48 per cent in February 2017 when the scheme was announced.
The LEZ also has significant benefits outside of London, with independent analysis from Environmental Defense Fund Europe showing vehicles that passed through London’s Low Emission Zone went on to drive through 95 per cent of the major towns and cities in England and Wales, bringing air quality benefits to a combined population of 18 million people.
Together, the ULEZ expansion and tougher LEZ standards will reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by nearly 30 per cent across the city and help prevent more than one million air pollution related hospital admissions over the next 30 years.
There are also wider economic benefits to cleaning up London’s polluted air. Research published by the Confederation of British Industry has shown that improving air quality in London would provide an economic benefit of almost £500 million per year to the local economy.
Check whether your vehicles meet the ULEZ standards on the TfL website.