ULEZ one-month away and counting; Will it impact congestion?

The central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) starts in one month and Transport for London (TfL) is reminding drivers to check their vehicles online and get ready for the scheme which will help clean up London’s toxic air. City Hall say the air pollution in London is responsible for thousands of premature deaths every year, affecting vulnerable people the most. The central London ULEZ – in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the current Congestion Charge Zone - will help take the most polluting vehicles off London’s streets. It is a central part of the Mayor’s far-reaching work to protect London’s health from harmful air pollution and will see harmful NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) road transport emissions reduce by 45 per cent in its first year.

Licensed taxis remain exempt from the ULEZ charge. Over the last year, TfL has worked with the DVLA to send more than 600,000 letters to owners of non-compliant vehicles spotted in the Congestion Charge Zone. It is continuing to raise awareness of the ULEZ to motorists and businesses, including through:

  • Posters and digital displays across the whole TfL network, alongside print, radio, online adverts and email newsletters

  • Providing advice and support to more than 6,000 registered fleet customers and more than 1,000 other stakeholders, such as small businesses, charities and health services

  • Installing more than 300 road signs warning drivers at all entry points to the ULEZ and on a number of key approach routes of the zone

The Mayor and TfL are providing help for Londoners who still need to get ULEZ-ready with nearly £50m set aside to encourage the scrappage of polluting vehicles. Small businesses and charities can access support to upgrade to the cleanest vehicles through the Mayor’s £23m diesel scrappage scheme. The scheme offers up to £6,000 of funding to help scrap vehicles and help with running costs of cleaner options. A separate scrappage scheme aimed at low-income Londoners will launch later this year. It will enable those on low wages to dispose of old and polluting vehicles and replace them with modern cleaner alternatives or to encourage walking, cycling or the use of public transport. Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: “London’s filthy air is a public health crisis that causes thousands of premature deaths, harms lung development in children and requires urgent, bold action. We are leading the world in delivering the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is set to reduce polluting emissions by 45 per cent. Londoners want to breathe cleaner air and with one month to go before ULEZ I’m pleased that millions of motorists have already checked if their vehicles are compliant and thousands of businesses are cleaning up their fleets.” Alex Williams, Transport for London's Director of City Planning, said: “The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone is now just around the corner and it is great to see that so many individuals and businesses are gearing up to help tackle London’s toxic air and protect the health of Londoners. “We have been working hard to ensure that drivers are aware that their vehicle needs to be compliant if they are to avoid paying the charge. We have also been supporting businesses in their preparations - with many already making the move to comply. “We have engaged with more than 6,000 fleet businesses to advise them of their options and have worked with London’s business groups to reach thousands more. This, along with the £23m diesel van scrappage scheme, will help businesses replace their polluting vans with new cleaner ones and help create a cleaner city to the benefit of everyone.” TfL has also worked closely with Waze, the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app, to provide more information to drivers who might enter the zone. The app will alert drivers if their planned route takes them into the zone or if they head towards it. It will also provide a link to the TfL’s vehicle checker to allow drivers to check compliance if they choose to continue into the zone 

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