Last reviewed 30 May 2022

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a public consultation into its plans to expand the current Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover almost the whole of the capital from 29 August 2023.

With full details available — here, the consultation is open for comments until 29 July 2022 and states:

“Traffic congestion continues to be a persistent problem in the capital. Last year, the cost to the London economy was estimated to be £5.1 billion. Nearly two-thirds of the cost of congestion in London has been attributed to traffic delays in outer London. This comes at a cost to everyone, impacting businesses, bus customers and essential services.”

TfL argues that expanding the ULEZ London-wide will, in the short term, have the biggest effect on emissions relative to the cost to Londoners as a whole, as well as helping tackle the climate emergency and traffic congestion.

The current £12.50 daily charge level for cars, vans and motorbikes that do not meet the standards would be retained. For those who own older, more polluting vehicles it is proposed there will be as big a vehicle scrappage scheme as is feasible to help people adapt to the change if the proposals are confirmed by the Mayor of London.

Oli Lord at the Clean Cities Campaign said: “London's ULEZ is envied across Europe and I'm thrilled the Mayor remains committed to it. A London-wide ULEZ will ensure everyone breathes cleaner air and especially people living on busy arterial roads, who are often left behind.”

Logistics UK, however, was less enthusiastic and its Head of Policy South, Natalie Chapman, said that while the transport industry is fully committed to introducing cleaner vehicles, recent challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic have slowed the supply of these vehicles.

“Until they are available,” she went on, “Logistics UK is urging TfL to consider mitigations — such as those currently being implemented by councils that have introduced Clean Air Zones (CAZs) — for those that have ordered, and are awaiting the delivery of, these cleaner vehicles.”