Expanded pollution charge gets green light from Mayor - comment

A van passes cyclists on Carlton Vale, Brent

The most polluting vehicles will be charged for entering the centre of the capital from April 2019

8 June 2018

In a bid to tackle air pollution from traffic, Sadiq Khan has formally announced that the planned ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ will operate from April 8 2019 in the Congestion Charge Zone.

The scheme will see the most polluting vehicles charged for entering the centre of the capital before expanding to the North and South Circulars in 2021.

Responding to the news, Matt Winfield, Director for Sustrans in London:

“The Ultra Low Emission Zone is a vital step in tackling toxic traffic pollution. It sends a clear signal that the most polluting vehicles are not welcome in our city.

"The congestion charge and the plastic bag charge have demonstrated how a small price can change behaviour, improving our health and environment.

“But cleaning up vehicles will only take us part of the way toward truly clean air. We need fewer vehicles, not just cleaner ones. That’s why the Mayor must continue to invest in measures to prioritise walking and cycling and reduce traffic on our streets.”

Air pollution from nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter lead to over 9,400 premature deaths in London every year.

Transport for London estimate that more than 100,000 people across London will no longer live in areas exceeding the legal Nitrogen Dioxide limits and that the scheme would affect up to 60,000 vehicles a day. As a result, NOx road transport emissions in central London are estimated to fall by an additional 20 per cent in 2019.