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Mayor of London urges Londoners to scrap old cars ahead of ULEZ expansion

Image credit: Transport for London

Londoners who own older, polluting vehicles are being encouraged to apply for grants to help them switch to cleaner alternatives, as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is set to cover all boroughs from 29 August.

The ULEZ is part of the Mayor's ambitious plans to improve the city's air quality and protect the health of its residents.

According to Transport for London (TfL), 90% of cars seen driving in outer London on an average day already meet the ULEZ standards and will not have to pay the daily charge of £12.50 when the scheme expands. However, the Mayor has increased the funding for the scrappage scheme by £50m, bringing the total to £160m, and widened the eligibility criteria to include more low-income families, disabled people, small businesses and charities.

The scrappage scheme, which opened in January, offers up to £2,000 for car owners and up to £1,000 for motorcycle owners who want to scrap their non-compliant vehicles and replace them with greener options, such as electric or hybrid vehicles, public transport or cycling. So far, more than 17,000 applications have been received and over 10,000 vehicles have been scrapped.

The Mayor said that expanding the ULEZ was a difficult but necessary decision because of the damage air pollution is doing to Londoners' health.

Khan said: “The decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one for me to make, but it is necessary to reduce toxic air pollution, protect the health of Londoners and help tackle the climate emergency.

“I have continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners, and that’s why I’ve introduced the biggest vehicle scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK. Every single Londoner with a non-compliant car and motorbike is now eligible to get support. We are doing this without a penny of support from the Government who have helped other cities around the country with their clean air zones.

“There’s still plenty of money available in the scrappage scheme and, with one week to go until the ULEZ is expanded, I am urging all Londoners with non-compliant vehicles to apply now. 

“Currently 9 out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London are already compliant, but these grants will make a real difference to those drivers with non-compliant vehicles. Together we can help build a better, greener city for all Londoners.” 

Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Transport Strategy and Policy, added: “London has made significant progress over the last six years in improving air quality, but it sadly remains the case that thousands of Londoners are dying prematurely each year as a result of toxic pollution, which is why the Mayor made the difficult but necessary decision to expand the ULEZ.

“Nine in ten cars seen driving on an average day in outer London are already ULEZ compliant. With the recent expansion of the scrappage scheme, all Londoners looking to help clean the city’s air by scrapping a non-compliant car can do so with financial support from the Mayor. Charities and small businesses can also receive more to scrap or retrofit their vans or minibuses, as well being able to apply with up to three vehicles. We encourage everyone to go to our website to check their vehicle to make sure they’re ready for next week.

“ULEZ is a vital step in make the city a cleaner place for all who work and live in London and we are taking ambitious action to improve public transport for all.”


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