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Everything You Need to Know About ULEZ

What does ULEZ stand for?

  • Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

When and where is the ULEZ happening?

  • ULEZ kicks off on Monday 8 April and will apply to the same area of central London covered by the congestion charge zone. However, unlike the Congestion Zone, it will apply 24 hours a day, every day.
  • From 25 October 2021, the boundary will be extended to a far larger area enclosed by the north and south circular roads. Check out the second map on the left.

How much will drivers be charged to drive in to ULEZ?

  • Vehicles that do not meet ULEZ emissions standards are subject to a £12.50 charge for every day they drive within the ULEZ, in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge that operates on weekdays.
  • Although Paddington is outside the ULEZ area until October 2021, it is very close to the border. If you think your business might be effected, it is advised to take action now by making your vehical ULEZ compliant to avoid fines. Check if your car is compliant here. 
  • If a driver fails to pay within two weeks, they will face a penalty of £160. This will be halved if paid within two weeks.
  • Lorries will face a much higher daily charge of £100, with a penalty fare of £1,000.
  • TfL will use number plate recognition cameras to detect when a vehicle has entered the zone.
  • The mayor has also announced a scrappage scheme to cover small business owners and charities operating high-polluting vans and minibuses in the city centre.

What is the aim of ULEZ?

  • The aim is to improve air quality and associated health problems in the city by discouraging people from driving heavily polluting vehicles.
  • Around half the emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter come from transport, and these substances have been linked repeatedly with everything from shorter life expectancy to mental health problems.
  • London has breached legal air pollution targets, and authorities have proposed low emission zones as a way to curb levels of these toxins in the atmosphere. TfL has predicted the new measures will cut 5 per cent of overall car traffic in central London.

Is anyone exempt from ULEZ?

  • Those registered for the residents’ congestion charge discount will get a full discount until 24 October 2021 to give them time to change their vehicle for one that is ULEZ compliant.
  • People with vehicles registered with a “disabled” or “disabled passenger vehicles” tax class will also not have to pay anything until 2025.
  • London black cabs are also exempt from the charge. However, any new taxis must be zero emissions.

What can I find out more about ULEZ?