Consultation launches on expanding ULEZ across London

A consultation has been launched by Transport for London (TfL) on expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover almost the whole capital by 2023.

New data estimates that the expansion would deter more than 100,000 of the most polluting cars a day.

All Londoners currently live in areas that breach the World Health Organization (WHO) target for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, while around 500,000 suffer from asthma and similar number will develop diseases linked to toxic air over the next 30 years.

It is estimated that harmful emissions will cost the NHS and social care £10.4bn over the next 30 years if no further action is taken to improve air quality. On top of this, traffic congestion cost the London economy an estimated £5.1bn last year, with nearly two thirds of the cost attributable to traffic delays in outer London.

Under the proposed scheme, the current £12.50 daily charge level for cars, vans and motorbikes that do not meet the standards would be retained.

The consultation will also cover a revision of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and will ask Londoners to help shape the future of road user charging, including scrapping existing charges and replacing them with a single road user charging scheme.

vehicle parked on street

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: ‘The air Londoners breathe is so toxic it stunts children’s lungs, exacerbates chronic illness and contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year. More than half of the 500,000 Londoners with asthma live in outer London and all areas of London still breach safe levels of pollution.

‘That’s why my proposals for expanding the Ultra -Low Emission Zone are the right thing to do. Air pollution is not just a central London issue and Londoners in the outer boroughs should be able to enjoy the clean air benefits the ULEZ brings.

‘We’re keen to hear from all Londoners, so please share your views on my plans to build a better London for everyone – a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.’

Responding to the announcement, 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. We are, however, long overdue a conversation on what comes next and I’m pleased this has begun because we need to do more than the ULEZ to meet our climate goals.’

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah also commented: ‘Fewer and cleaner cars on the road is good for communities, the high street and – crucially – our health. In the short time since ULEZ was expanded, Londoners have chosen to leave their cars behind or trade them in for cleaner models. Now it’s time to extend ULEZ onto the South Circular, where children are still walking along just to get to school, and beyond. Illegal levels of air pollution on the South Circular caused my daughter Ella’s deadly asthma nine years ago, expanding ULEZ London-wide can help prevent future deaths like Ella’s.’

Photo by Jay Wennington


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