LONDON has what is known as an Ultra Low Emission Zone to help improve air quality in the capital.
The area is being expanded from October 25, 2021. Here is what to expect.
The ULEZ scheme is expanding to cover huge parts of the capitalCredit: Tfl
Where is London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone?
The Ultra Low Emission Zone or ULEZ initially covered the Congestion Charge zone in central London, from the eastern edge of Hyde Park out to around Aldgate.
But from October 25, 2021, this will expand to cover all parts of London within the North and South Circular roads.
And unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year – excluding Christmas Day on December 25.
Older vehicles, including motorbikes, that don’t meet the tighter emissions standards have to pay £12.50 every day they are used within the ULEZ.
As a rule of thumb, the vehicles affected include pre-2015 diesels and pre-2006 petrol cars – but you can easily check if yours falls foul on the ULEZ website.
But those are just a rough guide and the charges will be enforced based on emissions rather than the car’s age.
To drive in the ULEZ, petrol cars must meet the Euro 4 standard on emissions, and diesels, as well as larger vehicles, must meet Euro 6.
Transport for London’s “integrated impact assessment” claims about 565,000 cars registered in the capital will be liable if driven.
It is estimated that an additional 100,000 cars, 3,000 lorries and 35,000 vans will be affected by the expanded zone every day.
The ULEZ charge is being implemented to help cut pollutionCredit: Getty – Contributor
Could I get fined?
The daily charge runs from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week, every day of the year bar one.
Failure to pay will result in a fine of £160 for cars, vans and motorbikes which will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Lorries, coaches and larger vans will be charged £100 a day, with a £1,000 fine for failing to pay on time, reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days.
These are in addition to any Congestion Charge that applies.
TfL is in the process of erecting hundreds of signs warning motorists they will be entering the ULEZ where congestion charge zone signs are currently located.
There are currently about 1,000 congestion charge cameras, but there will be 18 times that number for the ULEZ.
Cameras will read number plates and check if the vehicle meets the ULEZ standards.
By charging £12.50 a day, cash-strapped TfL will raise between £700million and £1.5billion.
The congestion charge only brings in £230million a year.
How can I check if my vehicle is affected by ULEZ?
The best way to be sure you comply with the low emissions standard is to check online.
You can do this by inputting your vehicle’s number plate into the Transport for London (TfL) website.
Can I get an exemption?
Those with vehicles registered with a disabled or disabled passenger tax class will benefit from a grace period after the ULEZ starts.
They’ll be exempt from the ULEZ charge until October 26, 2025, as long as their vehicle doesn’t change tax class.
Also, people living in the area who are registered for the residents’ Congestion Charge discount will be granted a time-limited grace period where a 100 per cent discount from the ULEZ will apply to their vehicles.
The grace period applies until October 24, 2021.
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