Expanded London ULEZ having a significant impact, says report

A year after the expansion of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to all of inner London and 18 months since the tightening up of the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ), a new report claims a triple success in tackling the threats of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion. 

The scheme, which was launched across central London in 2019, was the World’s first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone. It became 18 times larger after an expansion across inner London in 2021 and it is set to expand even further in August, with another 5m Londoners falling within its scope.

red double-decker bus passing Palace of Westminster, London during daytime

The report found that in terms of traffic, ULEZ compliance continued to increase, with 94.4% of vehicles meeting the required standard. When the expansion was first announced that figure was just 39%. It estimates that the number of non-compliant vehicles on London’s streets has fallen by around 74,000  per day. Furthermore, the distance covered by diesel vehicles in the zone has fallen by 7% and petrol hybrid electric vehicles now make up the majority of taxis/Private Hire Vehicles.

The report describes the improvement in air quality as ‘dramatic’, stating that across the whole of London nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions have been reduced by 13,500 tonnes over the four years of the ULEZ, a reduction of 23%.

Particularly notable is the 70% fall in emissions from London buses. In 2019 buses put 656 tonnes of NOx into the air of inner London, by last year that had fallen to 42 tonnes.

Similarly, London-wide over that four year period, PM2.5 emissions have been reduced by 7% to 180 tonnes, while the ULEZ zone itself has seen a 17% reduction.

CO2 emissions from vehicles have dropped by 800,000 tonnes across London over the four-year period and within the ULEZ area there has been a saving of 290,000 tonnes, a reduction of 4% over that time.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations are estimated to be 21% lower than they would have been in inner London without the ULEZ and in central London that figure rises to 46%.

Read the full report

Image: Aron Van de Pol


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1 year ago

False information!! The condition and traffic desity of outer London is incomparable to inner London. In City Hall’s indipendent report conducted by Jacobs has already stated ULEZ only has negligible effect on improving air quality.

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