Featured in the Future Transport London Newsletter September 2022
The consultation on extending the ultra low emission zone to the Greater London boundary from August 2023 closed on 29th July. Although there was widespread support for the proposal there was vociferous opposition from some. Although one could speculate that most of the opposition was from disgruntled and relatively rich drivers their main beef was the unfairness imposed on poor people who need a car but cannot afford to replace their polluting one.
The Mayor recognises that there will be an impact on some people including some disabled people and care workers where employers do not reimburse staff. The Transport Committee recommended that discounts, exemptions and reimbursements for the existing inner London ULEZ scheme should remain in place and some grace periods should be extended. The Mayor is also considering reintroducing a targeted vehicle scrappage scheme and the Transport Committee recommended that there should be incentives to take up alternative ways of getting around through mobility credits, which could include free membership of car clubs and shared bike hire and additional travelcard value, to help Londoners to make more sustainable choices.
The Mayor reports that, since the ULEZ expanded up to the North and South Circular roads, compliance levels with ULEZ emissions standards have increased to 93.8 per cent in May 2022, up from 86.9 per cent in the weeks before the zone expanded. There were also around 21,000 fewer vehicles in the zone compared to pre-scheme levels. Furthermore, NO2 concentrations in inner London are estimated to be 20 per cent lower than they would have been without the ULEZ and its expansion. In central London, NO2 concentrations are estimated to be 44 per cent lower.