From 25 October 2021, the Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is being expanded to include some parts of the borough. This means that owners of older vehicles may be subject to a daily charge for driving on all roads within the new zone.
This expansion brings some eastern parts of the borough into the ULEZ, including areas in Park Royal, Acton, Chiswick and Ealing Common and up to the north circular.
ULEZ is already in place in some central parts of London to help improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions across the city. Vehicles need to meet the required emissions standards when driving within and into the expanded zone or pay a daily charge.
ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends (except Christmas day), with a £12.50 daily charge for vehicles that do not meet the required emissions standards.
Four out of five cars already meet these standards, but owners of the remaining older cars, motorcycles, lighter vans and minibuses should take action and check the new rules.
You can see a map of exactly where the new expanded ULEZ covers and whether your vehicle meets the standards at Transport for London’s (TfL) website. Signs will also be put up to show when drivers are entering the expanded zone from outside.
Improving air quality
There has been a dramatic improvement in air quality in London in the last few years. The introduction of the ULEZ has helped this encouraging trend.
In fact, since 2016, there has been a 97% reduction in the number of primary and secondary schools located in areas exceeding the legal pollution limit. Data also shows a 94% reduction in number of Londoners living in areas exceeding legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Expansion of the ULEZ is expected to lead to significant improvements in air quality here in the borough – including a potential reduction of 27% in harmful nitrogen oxide emissions.
ULEZ Car and motorcycle scrappage scheme
The Mayor of London has launched a car and motorcycle scrappage scheme to help low income and disabled Londoners scrap older, more polluting cars and motorcycles in favour of cleaner vehicles.
It is open to those receiving disabled and low income benefits. They can apply for a grant to scrap vehicles that do not meet ULEZ emissions standards.
Around £60 million has already been paid out to Londoners in grants and 12,000 high polluting vehicles have been taken off the road so far thanks to the scheme.
Visit the TfL website to check whether you are eligible and to find out more.
Active travel opportunities for residents
The council is backing the expansion of the ULEZ as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting active travel, improving air quality and combating climate crisis. There are a range of measures in place which will help residents reduce their reliance on older and high polluting vehicles.
This includes a network of electric vehicle (EV) charge points prioritised in areas inside the ULEZ expansion area and almost 200 in operation across the borough. More than 100 vehicles are also available to use through one of the borough’s car clubs – all of which are ULEZ compliant, and electric scooters (e-scooters) are currently available to hire in some parts of the borough as part of a London wide trial.
The council’s new cabinet has also confirmed a number of new measures in recent weeks to support active travel. Key cycle routes used by increasing numbers of residents have been made permanent, including on the Uxbridge Road, and Fisher’s Lane in Acton. A comprehensive cycle scheme at Boston Road is also planned, and a 24-hour bus lane on the Uxbridge Road is now in place.
The council has worked with TfL to deliver significant improvements to Southall and West Ealing stations, with permanent cycle hubs to park bikes securely to be created to support those commuting to and from the station.
Five new school streets in the borough have recently been confirmed, alongside the ten already made permanent following successful trial schemes.
‘Improving air quality and fighting climate crisis’
Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “From the end of this month, the ULEZ is expanding west and will cover some parts of the borough. Although this will not affect most vehicles, I encourage drivers to check whether it does apply to theirs.
“It is vital to reduce the number of higher polluting vehicles on local roads as we look to improve the air our residents breathe and fight the climate crisis.
“We are making it simpler, easier and safer for local people to choose active travel and public transport over making shorter journeys by car to help local people make this transition.”