New data released by Transport for London (TfL) shows that more than nine in 10 vehicles on outer London’s road are now compliant with the emissions standards of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
The scheme will be expanding London-wide from 29 August 2023 to encourage road users to switch from older, more polluting vehicles to ULEZ-compliant transport modes.
In November 2021, TfL estimated compliance levels to be at 85%, an increase from about 75% in June 2020.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “I have always been clear with Londoners that the aim of the ULEZ is to get the most polluting vehicles off our roads in order to protect both the health of Londoners and our environment.
“This new data shows people, businesses and charities understand the impact of air pollution on health and are preparing for the change. With this jump in compliance, it’s now just one in ten cars seen driving in outer London that aren’t ULEZ compliant – a fantastic result.”
The road charging scheme was established to tackle air pollution, climate change and congestion, with around four thousand Londoners dying prematurely each year as a result of toxic pollution, according to TfL.
Since the introduction of the ULEZ, harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels have reportedly fallen by 46% in central London and 21% in inner London.
TfL expects the ULEZ expansion to save nearly 27,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions in outer London in its first year.
Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Transport Strategy and Policy, said: “We are pleased that so many cars driving in outer London are now meeting the ULEZ standards. This demonstrates that people are taking action and cleaning up London’s air.
“The vast majority of those travelling in the zone when it expands London-wide will not have to pay the charge. We would recommend people use our vehicle checker so they know whether they need to take action ahead of the expansion of the zone. There is an imperative to clean up the capital’s toxic air given the impacts on public health and deaths attributable to pollution.”
Ahead of the zone’s expansion, the mayor announced London’s largest ever scrappage scheme worth £110m, to support eligible Londoners to upgrade or replace their vehicles in favour of greener alternatives.
What’s more, the grace period for people on certain disability benefits and those with wheelchair accessible vehicles has also been extended until October 2027.