Van drivers impacted by plans to expand capital’s ULEZ

An increasing number of van drivers are expected to pay to drive in the capital following new plans to expand London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).

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The original scheme, which will see vehicles that produce the most air pollution charged for entering the centre of London from April next year, will be extended to include the North Circular and South Circular roads from 2021.

The new zone will cover an area 18 times larger than the Central London ULEZ and will affect huge numbers of vehicles that don’t meet strict emission standards.

Drivers within the expanded zone using ‘non-compliant’ vans will pay a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Non-compliant vehicles include diesel vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards; those that are approximately six years or older in 2021, and petrol vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards, roughly the equivalent to being fifteen years or older in 2021.

It is estimated that approximately 35,000 vans could be affected by the expanded zone and tighter standards on a daily basis.

The public consultation on expanding the ULEZ standards was the largest ever recorded by TfL and showed strong support for the proposals. 56 per cent supported or strongly backed the expansion of the ULEZ boundary from central London and 74 per cent backing the new London-wide emissions standards for heavy vehicles.

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Following an extensive consultation, standards will be tightened for the most heavily polluting vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries across the whole of London from October 2020, using the same boundary as the existing Low Emission Zone.

Sadiq Khan, who announced the plans, said: “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action.

“I promised hard-hitting measures to tackle our shameful air pollution and today City Hall is confirming the next stage of our plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone up to the north and south circular roads.”

Khan also confirmed that City Hall is urging Ministers to deliver a diesel scrappage scheme, to offer drivers a fair deal and help them switch to greener transport options.

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