ULEZ – TfL Consultation

Consultation on Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) starts

TfL have launched the consultation for the expansion of the ULEZ from its current boundary inside the North and South Circular roads to cover the whole of greater London, with a planned introduction date of Tuesday 29 August 2023 (the day after the late summer bank holiday). It sets minimum ULEZ emissions standards for ‘light’ vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, vans and minibuses under 5 tonnes; coaches, buses and lorries are, of course, already subject to these standards London-wide as part of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

As with the existing scheme, drivers of vehicles that don’t meet the standards London wide must pay a daily charge to drive within the Zone unless an exemption or discount applies.

Most drivers in Greater London already have compliant vehicles, with around 82% in outer London already meeting ULEZ standards. Drivers of non-compliant vehicles would have to pay £12.50 each day if they drive within the zone.

Also, as part of the proposals, the penalty charge level for non-payment of the daily ULEZ and Congestion Charge will increase from £160 to £180. There are some other more detailed changes as well. Full details can be found here: https://bit.ly/3PE9O0x

Some drivers and vehicles would qualify for at least a temporary discount from the ULEZ charge. Others would be entirely exempt. These include

  • Wheelchair accessible private hire vehicles (until Sunday 24 October 2027)
  • Minibuses used for community transport (until Sunday 26 October 2025)
  • Historic vehicles

Other exemptions are detailed in the consultation.

Most coach and bus operators will not be directly impacted by this proposal as their ‘heavy’ vehicles already have to meet the required standards. However, if you operate vehicles under 5 tonnes, or you have support vehicles which are either based in outer London or regularly cross the London boundary, they will now be affected. But, given the urgent need to continue to ‘clean’ London’s air, it is difficult to do anything other than welcome these proposals. It will also have the advantage of removing some cars from outer London and improve traffic flow especially at peak times.