'Many drivers are unaware of the ULEZ charge'
Keith Prince AM, Havering and Redbridge
- Credit: PA
Sadiq Khan's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion will slap thousands of unaware drivers with eye-watering fines unless the mayor introduces a one-month amnesty for non-payment.
From October 25, Londoners may have been unknowingly driving within the new ULEZ area. If the daily £12.50 charge wasn't damaging enough, those unaware drivers will be hit by a whopping £160 fine each time they fail to pay.
Worryingly, many drivers are unaware of the ULEZ charge. According to one study by car sales website Motorway, a majority of drivers in and around London were unaware of ULEZ expansion. It also found that even fewer motorists are confident about the new boundaries.
The mayor should forgive drivers for falling foul of the new ULEZ boundaries. The new zone stretches up to the North and South Circulars. That's much larger than the old area and splits many London boroughs in two.
Together with my Conservative colleagues, I am calling on the mayor to introduce a one month fine amnesty. When ULEZ was first introduced in 2019, Transport for London offered a similar grace period. Doing it again would give London some time to adapt to the new zone and stop the £160 fines squeezing people to breaking point.
The new ULEZ area does not include Havering, but it does cut through Redbridge. So please do check if your car is ULEZ compliant before driving into London.
Unlike the congestion charge, the ULEZ charge is 24 hours a day and seven days a week. If your vehicle is not compliant, the mayor will charge you £12.50 to drive in the expanded zone.
You can check to see if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant using Transport for London's number plate checker: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/.