September 17, 2019

Early signs show drivers embracing ULEZ

Nearly three-quarters of vehicles entering London’s new ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in its first month of operation were compliant with the new standards.

According to the Lord Mayor’s office, polluting vehicles account for around half of London’s harmful NOx air emissions, and air pollution costs the capital up to £3.7bn every year. Launched on 8 April, the world’s first ULEZ is helping address the city’s toxic air.

It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in the central London congestion charging zone. Motorists who drive in the zone in a vehicle that does not meet the new emission standard (petrol vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 standards and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6) have to pay a daily charge.

A report which looked at the initial impact of the ULEZ throughout April, revealed that the compliance rate with the ULEZ standards was around 74% in a 24-hour period (71% in congestion charging hours) compared with 39% in February 2017, and 61% in March 2019 (congestion charging hours).

In addition, there were around 9,400 fewer older, more polluting, non-compliant vehicles seen in the zone on an average day (excluding non-typical days), a reduction of 26%.