How could the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) expansion affect you?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone is due to expand in October

The ultra low emission zone is due to expand this month. - Credit: PA Images

The capital's ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) is due to expand to east London in a few weeks' time.

Including routes up to the north and south circulars, the ULEZ takes effect from October 25.

Registered owners of cars, motorcycles, vans, other vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses up to and including five tonnes will either need to meet ULEZ emissions standards or pay a £12.50 daily charge when travelling inside the expanded zone.

There is no discount for people who live within the affected area.

The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and every day of the year except December 25.


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Fines can be issued for various reasons, including if a vehicle travelling in the zone does not meet ULEZ emissions standards or the charge is not paid.

Money generated by the ULEZ gets reinvested into improving the transport network, according to Transport for London (TfL).

map

This map shows which boroughs fall within the expanded zone. - Credit: TfL

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The scheme is part of efforts to cut the capital's toxic air, which increases the risk of asthma, heart and lung disease.

About half of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) come from transport, according to TfL.

These contribute to levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pollutants which worsen chronic illnesses, shorten life expectancy and damage lung development.

TfL says road traffic emissions are the biggest cause of poor air quality and that since April 2019, ULEZ has helped cut the number of polluting vehicles in central London by 17,400 every day.

London-licensed taxis are exempt from the charges, but private hire vehicles which do not meet the emissions standards and are not wheelchair-friendly must pay the full charge to drive in the zone.

The emissions standards vehicles should meet to avoid the charge are based on a range of controls - known as Euro - which set limits on NOx and PM from engines.

Under ULEZ, Euro three applies for motorcycles and mopeds; Euro four (NOx) to petrol cars, vans and minibuses; Euro six (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and finally Euro VI (NOx and PM) for lorries, buses, coaches and other heavy vehicles.

To check if your vehicle complies, ring TfL on 0343 222 2222 or visit tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/

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