London Implements a 24-Hour Air Pollution Charge Zone

London Implements a 24-Hour Air Pollution Charge Zone

A 24-hour, seven day a week Ultra Low Emission Zone has been implemented in central London last week, therefore any vehicles entering the zone and not meeting the emissions standards will face a charge

Those affected by the new charge will be drivers of older and more polluting vehicles and through these new measures the travel authority Transport for London (TfL) aims to reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital and protect public health. The TfL has also provided an online tool where drivers can check if their vehicles meet the ULEZ emission standards.

Roughly 40,000 of this type of vehicles are coming into the congestion zone area daily. According to a press release from the mayor’s office, these type of vehicles are responsible for around half of harmful nitrogen oxide air emissions in the British capital, contributing to a toxic air health crisis that increases the risk of asthma, cancer, and dementia. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in the statement that it was “important we make progress” in tackling the capital’s toxic air, he also added:

“This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation. The ULEZ is the centerpiece of our plans to clean up London’s air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.”

Under the new regulations, the daily charge for polluting vehicles will be £12.50 (around $16) for some cars, vans and motorbikes; while for trucks, buses and coaches that will be about £100 ($130).

The ULEZ is the next step in a plan to clean up London’s air that started back in 2017 with the T-charge, which was an extra charge for highly polluting vehicles in the city center. The charge lead to the number of vehicles entering the zone to fall by almost 11,000 per day and there has been a 55% increase in emissions-compliant vehicles in the zone. The ULEZ will cover the same area as this existing charge until 2021, after which it will be expanded to cover the area between the major orbital roads known as the North and South Circular.

London’s famous red bus fleet will also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020, according to the mayor’s office.