Three months to go before new Ultra Low Emission Zone launches in central London

Published: Friday, January 11, 2019

With just under three months to go until the launch of the Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, motorists are being urged to plan ahead and check whether or not they will need to pay extra if they drive into town.

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From April 8, the ULEZ will be introduced in the area covered by the existing central London congestion charge zone.

New exhaust emission standards will come into force affecting all vehicles that enter the zone. Those that don’t will need to pay a daily charge - £12.50 for cars, vans and motorcycles and £100 for buses, coaches and lorries.

The congestion charge will be unchanged by the introduction of ULEZ and will continue to operate. The daily fee for non-exempt vehicles entering the charge zone will remain at £11.50.

Unlike the congestion charge which will continue Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm, the ULEZ will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The ULEZ will apply in the congestion charge zone from April

To discourage the use of the most polluting vehicles, drivers travelling within the zone and using non-compliant vehicles will need to pay the daily ULEZ charge as well as the congestion charge.

Non-compliant vehicles include:

• Motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 12 years old in 2019).

• Petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 13 years old in 2019).

• Diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than four years old in 2019).

• Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro VI standard or pay £100 a day.

Vehicle classifications and exemptions

Drivers can use TFL’s online checking tool  to see if their vehicle will meet the ULEZ’s emissions standards. 

The introduction of ULEZ is a central part of the Mayor’s plan to tackle London’s toxic air and address the severe health impact of poor air quality.

A major awareness campaign is underway by Transport for London (TfL) to ensure drivers are prepared for the introduction of ULEZ. This includes contacting more than 2.5 million registered Congestion Charge users whose vehicles do not meet the ULEZ standards, to remind them the new zone begins in April. TfL is also contacting other drivers it identifies in central London whose vehicles are not currently ULEZ-compliant.

• The introduction of the ULEZ in central London is set to be followed in 2021 when the Mayor plans to roll out the zone to cover a much larger part of the capital – including much of Wandsworth.

Under the Mayor’s proposals the zone is to expand in October 2021 to form a new boundary with the South Circular Road. This means half the borough will be within the zone and half outside it.

How the zone will expand in October 2021

This would affect anyone driving within a zone whose southernmost boundary was marked by the Upper Richmond Road, Wandsworth High Street, East Hill, Wandsworth Common Northside, Battersea Rise, The Avenue Clapham Common West Side and Clapham Common Southside. Anyone driving north of these roads would need to comply with the new ULEZ regulations. The northern boundary of the ULEZ would be the North Circular Road.