Last reviewed 2 August 2022

A new report from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, assesses the impact of expanding the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) last year.

On 25 October 2021, the ULEZ in central London expanded to cover all areas inside the North and South Circular roads, 18 times the size of the original zone.

The standards for the existing London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for buses, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and coaches were tightened and are now the same as the ULEZ standards meaning there is only one charge for most large and heavy vehicles operating in London.

The new standards are: Euro VI for buses coaches and HGVs/vans over 3.5T (vehicles registered new from September 2016); and Euro 3 for particulate matter only for vans between 1.2T and 3.5T and minibuses under 5T (vehicles registered new from January 2001).

The report from City Hall has assessed the impact the expanded zone has had in its first six months, finding that the number of older, more polluting vehicles driving in central and inner London and the levels of harmful pollution Londoners are exposed to have both fallen substantially.

Mr Khan has highlighted that 94% of vehicles seen driving in the zone now meet the strict ULEZ standards on an average day, up from 87% in the weeks before the zone expanded and up from 39% in February 2017 when changes associated with the ULEZ began.

Compliance rates for HGVs have also increased across all zones in London, with a marked increase when tighter LEZ standards were enforced from March 2021.

“Today’s report shows the incredible difference that the expanded ULEZ is making after just six months,” the Mayor said. “We must now capitalise on this success which is why I’m consulting on expanding the ULEZ London-wide to extend the benefits of clean air to all Londoners.”

The Expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone Six Month Report can be found here.