The ULEZ – in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the current Congestion Charge Zone – is aimed at helping to take the most polluting vehicles off London’s streets.
It is part of a strategy to protect London’s health from harmful air pollution and will see harmful NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) road transport emissions reduce by 45% in its first year.
Over the past year, TfL has worked with the DVLA to send more than 600,000 letters to owners of non-compliant vehicles spotted in the Congestion Charge Zone. It is continuing to raise awareness of the ULEZ to motorists and businesses, including through:
- Posters and digital displays across the whole TfL network, alongside print, radio, online adverts and email newsletters
- Providing advice and support to more than 6,000 registered fleet customers and more than 1,000 other stakeholders, such as small businesses, charities and health services
- Installing more than 300 road signs warning drivers at all entry points to the ULEZ and on a number of key approach routes of the zone
The Mayor and TfL are providing help for Londoners who still need to get ULEZ-ready with nearly £50 million set aside to encourage the scrappage of polluting vehicles.
Small businesses and charities can access support to upgrade to the cleanest vehicles through the Mayor’s £23 million diesel scrappage scheme. The scheme offers up to £6,000 of funding to help scrap vehicles and help with running costs of cleaner options.
A separate scrappage scheme aimed at low-income Londoners will launch later this year. It will enable those on low wages to dispose of old and polluting vehicles and replace them with modern cleaner alternatives or to encourage walking, cycling or the use of public transport.
Alex Williams, Transport for London’s Director of City Planning, said: “We have been working hard to ensure that drivers are aware that their vehicle needs to be compliant if they are to avoid paying the charge. We have also been supporting businesses in their preparations – with many already making the move to comply.
“We have engaged with more than 6,000 fleet businesses to advise them of their options and have worked with London’s business groups to reach thousands more.”
TfL has also worked closely with Waze, the community-based traffic and navigation app, to provide more information to drivers who might enter the zone.
The app will alert drivers if their planned route takes them into the zone or if they head towards it. It will also provide a link to the TfL’s vehicle checker to allow drivers to check compliance if they choose to continue into the zone.
Stuart Russell, Director, Commercial Vehicles, Europcar Mobility Group UK, said: “The ULEZ goes to the heart of the air quality issues facing the capital, and the scrappage scheme is a great initiative from TfL to help firms ensure it does not have a negative impact on their business.
“Whilst the cash sum could be useful to go towards new vehicle acquisition, some businesses may decide to use those funds for other purposes. If they don’t want to face the financial outlay for a new vehicle or commit to a lengthy lease, van rental provides a genuine alternative.”