London drivers face fresh hit as Khan launches plans to expand Ulez to whole of city

20 May 2022, 10:01 | Updated: 20 May 2022, 10:21

Sadiq Khan has launched a consultation on plans to expand London's Ulez to cover the entire of the city
Sadiq Khan has launched a consultation on plans to expand London's Ulez to cover the entire of the city. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The Mayor of London has launched a consultation on plans to expand London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) to cover the entire city and hit an extra 135,000 motorist with a £12.50-per-day charge.

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Sadiq Khan has proposed plans to extend the scheme's boundary from the North and South Circular Roads to the whole of Greater London from August 29 next year.

Drivers of vehicles which do not comply with minimum emissions standards are charged a daily fee of £12.50 for entering the Ulez.

The consultation is being conducted by Transport for London.

Analysis found that more than 3.5 million more people will live within the Ulez if it is expanded as planned.

The mayor's office estimated that an additional 135,000 vehicles would be affected per day.

It warned that the capital is suffering a "toxic air crisis", with around 4,000 premature deaths in 2019 attributed to filthy air.

The boroughs of Barnet, Bromley, Croydon and Havering had the most deaths, demonstrating that poor air quality "is not just a central London problem", according to Mr Khan's office.

Read more: Urgent warning issued to Londoners over 'extremely dangerous toxic air'

Sadiq Khan is 'bringing London to its knees' amid ULEZ expansion

Whether or not a vehicle is liable for the Ulez charge depends on how much nitrogen dioxide (NO2) it emits.

NO2 damages lungs and can exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma and lung and heart disease.

For diesel cars to avoid the charge they must generally have been registered after September 2015, while most petrol models registered from 2005 are exempt.

Mr Khan previously ruled out introducing a Clean Air Charge, which would have affected drivers of all but the cleanest vehicles.

He also decided not to go ahead with a proposal to charge drivers of vehicles registered outside London for entering the capital.

Speaking about air pollution previously, Mr Khan said: "Exposure to toxic air pollution shouldn’t be a postcode lottery.

"Every Londoner, including those living in outer London, should be able to breathe clean air. That’s why I’ve announced a proposal to expand the ULEZ London-wide in 2023.

Read more: Council apologises after wrongly claiming LTNs caused reduction in pollution

Pollution activist defends ULEZ expansion

He added: "The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don't have time to waste.

"The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to reduce carbon emissions to help save the planet.

"This is also a matter of social justice – with air pollution hitting the poorest communities the hardest.

"Nearly half of Londoners don't own a car, but they are disproportionally feeling the damaging consequences polluting vehicles are causing.

"If no additional action is taken to reduce air pollution beyond the existing polices, around 550,000 Londoners would develop diseases attributable to air pollution over the next 30 years and the cumulative cost to the NHS and the social care system is estimated to be £10.4 billion."