ULEZ Expansion 2023 - All London Boroughs
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, recently announced that Transport for London (TfL) is expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on August 29 2023 following periods of consultation. According to TfL, this is the tackle the issue of poor air quality in London that is having a significant impact on the health of Londoners and those visiting. For those vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ standard, a daily charge of £12.50 will be payable; residents do not receive any discount, although TfL's website does state that if you are in parked inside the zone but do not drive, then the daily charge for that day is not payable.
History of ULEZ
ULEZ came into play on 8 April 2019 and originally only covered a specific area of Central London, covering only the T-Charge zone. Charges applied to cars, vans, and motorcycles who pay £12.50 a day, and lorries, buses, and coaches who pay £100 a day if they do not meet the standards. Running 24 hours a day, every day (except Christmas Day), at the time the ULEZ was the World's first 24 hour low emission zone (london.gov.uk). Its aim was to reduce the harmful levels of Nitrous Oxide (NOX) in the air from exhaust emissions.
Petrol vehicles are required to meet Euro4 standards and diesel vehicles required to meet Euro6 standards. Petrol vehicles from approximately 2006 onwards have met the standard.
October 2021 saw the area covered by ULEZ expanded to within the boundaries of the North (A406) and South (A205) Circular.
The money made from the charges and any subsequent Penalty Charge Notices is reinvested into the TfL to improve and maintain London's transport, according to TfL.
Schemes to help those affected by the ULEZ Expansion
Typically, vehicles that do not meet the standard are older vehicles and drivers are new drivers or those on lower incomes. Consequently, buying a newer vehicle that meets the standard may not be a financially viable option nor will paying the £12.50 daily charge. This is one of the biggest criticisms of the ULEZ in general, but more so now the expansion has been confirmed. Described as a "war on motorists" and "attacks on the working class", the ULEZ expansion during times of financial hardship for millions of households has been hot topic.
The Mayor of London announced several schemes aimed at helping people in these situations.
Coming into play on 30 January 2023, Londoners will be able to apply for a scrappage scheme of their older cars and motorcycles, receiving either a grant payment or a grant payment plus one or two Annual Bus & Tram passes. However, not everyone will be eligible for this scheme, and only Londoners receiving certain disability and "means-tested" benefits can apply.
A different scrappage scheme will run for vans and minibuses for sole traders, businesses with 10 or fewer employees and charities.
Other offers will be available for all Londoners, regardless of eligibility, but details of these have not yet been specified.
Discounts and exemptions
Temporary exemptions have been extended and new grace periods introduced on 30 January 2023.
Drivers have the option to set up Auto Pay to ensure that they never miss or forget a payment that would result in a Penalty Charge Notice. The annual fee of £10 to register for Auto Pay has been removed.
The current Penalty Charge Notice costs £160 for both ULEZ and Congestion Charge, issued when payment has not been made. TfL have announced that this is being increased to £180.
Does my vehicle meet the standard?
You can check if your vehicle meets the standard required to avoid paying the daily charge by using TfL's online vehicle checker. Click the button below to see check your vehicle.