Have your say on changes to the Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone

Closes 28 Feb 2018

Opened 30 Nov 2017

Overview

You can click on the links below if you would like to go directly to a specific section:

Why improve air quality?
Our proposals

Air quality impacts of the proposals
Discounts and Exemptions
Have your say (online survey)
Related documents
Next steps
What else is being done to improve air quality?

Background

Air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing London, affecting the health of all Londoners. It contributes to thousands of early deaths each year and impacts our health over the course of our lives – leading to decreased lung function in our children and greater risk of dementia and strokes as we get older.

Soon after his election the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, called for new proposals to urgently help tackle London’s lethal air pollution.  The Mayor has already introduced the T-Charge in central London, bought forward the start date of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for central London to 8 April 2019 and announced a series of measures to clean up London’s bus fleet.

We are now consulting on detailed proposals for two further initiatives to improve London’s air. These involve:

  • Tightening the standards of the existing London-wide Low Emission Zone from 2020, which affects heavy vehicles – buses, coaches and HGVs and other heavy specialist vehicles
  • Expanding the ULEZ for light vehicles (cars, vans and motorcycles) from central London to inner London up to, but not including the North and South Circular roads in 2021 so that all vehicles in this area are subject to emissions standards

This webpage summarises the consultation. More information can be found in the Supporting Information Document and Integrated Impact Assessment, which will be available from 11 December.

We invite you to provide your views. Please read this information, then complete the online questionnaire

This consultation closes on 28 February 2018.

Why improve air quality?

In London, there are two pollutants which we want to tackle as a priority. They have a major impact on health:

  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): At high concentrations, NO2 causes inflammation of the airways. Breathing in high levels of NO2 over a long period of time is associated with an increase in symptoms of bronchitis in asthmatic children and reduced lung development and function
  • Particulate matter (PM): Breathing in high levels of PM over a long period of time contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer. Research shows that small particles (those with a diameter of 10 microns and smaller) – PM10 – are likely to be inhaled deep into the respiratory tract.  The health impacts of the smallest particles (those with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller) – PM2.5 – are especially significant, as smaller particles can penetrate even deeper

The scale of the air pollution crisis in London means further action is vital. NO2 concentrations in 2013 are shown in the map below. Road transport is a significant source of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which forms harmful NO2 in the atmosphere. At roadside areas where people are more exposed to air pollution, the contribution of transport is significantly greater.

Click here for a larger version of the above map (JPEG)

Currently, around 50 per cent of NOx emissions in Greater London are from road transport, with diesel vehicles the largest contributor to road transport emissions. The graph below shows the sources of NOX in Greater London in 2013.

Our proposals

London currently operates a London-wide Low Emission Zone which affects heavy vehicles. Currently the LEZ requires all heavy vehicles to meet a Euro IV  Particulate Matter (PM) standard or pay a daily charge of £200 and all vans and minibuses to meet a Euro 3 PM standard or pay a daily charge of £100.

The Mayor has now confirmed the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London from 8 April 2019. The ULEZ will apply 24 hours a day, every day of the year. All vehicles that do not meet emission standards will be liable to pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. The ULEZ will replace the current T-Charge. Click here for full details of the central London ULEZ being implemented from 8 April 2019.

The proposals we are now consulting on are:

  1. Introducing tougher emissions standards for the Low Emission Zone from 2020, so that they affect heavy vehicles London wide
  2. Expanding the ULEZ from central London up to, but not including, the North and South Circulars in 2021 for light vehicles (excluding taxis), so that all vehicles in this inner London area are subject to emissions standards

Euro standards explained
Broadly speaking vehicles that meet the required emissions standards are those registered after the following dates:

By convention Euro standards for heavy duty diesel engines use Roman numerals (I–VI) and light duty vehicle standards use Arabic numerals (1–6). The current ULEZ standards apply to NOx and PM for diesel and NOx only for petrol

However, there are exceptions, as some petrol vehicles met Euro 4 NOx standards before these dates for example. TfL have developed an online vehicle checker to help customers check their vehicle’s emission standard by entering their registration number.

Proposal to introduce tougher emissions standards for heavy vehicles in the Low Emission Zone in 2020

We are proposing to introduce a London-wide Euro VI standard for heavy vehicles (lorries, coaches, buses and other heavy specialist vehicles) from 26 October 2020. This will be introduced through a change to the emissions standards for the existing London-wide Low Emission Zone (map below).

Currently, the LEZ requires all heavy vehicles to meet a Euro IV PM standard or pay a daily charge of £200. We are proposing that all heavy vehicles driving in the London-wide LEZ will need to meet a Euro VI standard for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and PM or pay an extra daily charge of £100. Vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 PM standard would now need to pay a total £300 daily charge.

From 26 October 2020, there would be no additional emissions charge for heavy vehicles to drive in the ULEZ area.  

The current LEZ requires vans, minibuses and similar vehicles to meet a Euro 3 PM standard or pay a daily charge of £100.  These vehicles would need to meet the ULEZ Euro 6 standard or pay an additional emissions charge of £12.50 when driving in the ULEZ.


 

Proposal to expand the ULEZ up to the North and South Circulars in 2021

The central London ULEZ scheme will come into operation in April 2019 and we are proposing that from 25 October 2021 this will cover an expanded area roughly up to but not including the North and South Circular roads as indicated on the map below.

The emissions standards for light vehicles will be:

  • Diesel cars, vans, minibuses and similar vehicles – Euro 6 NOx and PM
  • Petrol cars, vans and similar vehicles – Euro 4 NOx
  • Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and similar vehicles – Euro 3 NOx

Light vehicles which do not meet these standards would need to pay a daily charge of £12.50 in order to drive in the ULEZ. This would be in addition to any applicable daily Congestion Charge in central London.

We want your view on whether you support expanding the area where ULEZ emissions standards apply to light vehicles (cars, vans, minibuses and motorcycles). 

Because of the proposed changes to LEZ, this will mean that all vehicles are subject to emissions standards in this inner London area.

We also want your view on whether 25 October 2021 is the correct date to implement the proposal.

Click here for a larger version of the above map (JPEG)

Detailed boundary maps

You can view detailed maps of the boundary to see if your road falls within or outside the extended ULEZ by clicking on the link below:

To view an individual map click on the map number.

Click here to view an interactive PDF map of the boundary



 

Summary of proposals

Click here to view a larger version of the above infographic (JPEG)*

*Vehicle Class is Illustrative only – other specialist vehicles are also affected. Emission standard refers to NOx and PM unless specified

Changes to central London ULEZ 'sunset' period for residents
We are proposing to make a change to the ‘sunset period’ or ‘grace period’ for Congestion Charging Zone residents’ vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emission standards in central London.

During this sunset period, residents who register are entitled to a 100 per cent discount on the ULEZ daily charge, but would continue to pay the daily Congestion Charge and T-Charge. At the end of this period residents will be liable for the full daily charge if they use a vehicle that does not meet the ULEZ standards.

In order to ensure all residents living in the ULEZ area are treated the same we propose the sunset period ends 25 October 2021 instead of April 2022. The end of the sunset period for residents in the central London ULEZ would be the same as the start date for the expanded ULEZ (up to the North and South Circular roads). This means all residents within the expanded ULEZ would need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or pay the daily charge at the same time.

We are not proposing any sunset period for residents living in the expanded ULEZ area. All residents living in the ULEZ, up to the North and South Circular roads (including central London), would need to comply with emissions standards or pay the daily charge from 25 October 2021.

Penalty charges for non-payment of LEZ and ULEZ charges
We recently consulted on raising the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) from £130 to £160 for non payment of the Congestion Charge and moving traffic violations on the Transport for London Road Network. We are now consulting on a similar increase in the PCN level for non-payment of the ULEZ charge for non-compliant cars, vans and motorcycles from £130 to £160.

From October 2020, the PCN for non-payment of the LEZ charge for Euro 4 and 5 heavy vehicles will be £1,000.  The PCN for non-payment of the LEZ charge for heavy vehicles that do not meet the Euro IV PM standard (and therefore do not meet the Euro VI either) will be £2,000.

Air quality impacts of the proposals

The proposed changes to LEZ and ULEZ would bring significant emissions reductions to a wider area of London. There would be a 20 per cent reduction in NOx emissions London-wide in 2020. The graph illustrates the London-wide impact of these proposals to 2030. In inner London, there would be a 30 per cent reduction in NOx in 2021.

Click here for a larger version of the above charts (PNG)

Discounts and Exemptions

The following discounts and exemptions will apply to the ULEZ and LEZ:

Taxis

London licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ. Every licensed taxi is fully accessible for wheelchair users, so offers a vital travel option for passengers with accessibility needs or heavy luggage, or when public transport is not suitable. They are also designed specifically for London’s streets. As they are specialist vehicles, drivers have a limited choice of models.

However, they have a 15 year age limit and we are introducing a new licensing requirement from 2018 that all newly licensed vehicles are zero emission capable

Vehicles for disabled people

Vehicles that have a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class and are exempt from vehicle tax, except those operated by or on behalf of Transport for London, will be granted a ‘disabled vehicles sunset period’ and will be exempt from ULEZ until 10 September 2023.

Blue Badge holders will be required to meet the new ULEZ emission standards or pay the ULEZ charge unless their vehicle has a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicle' tax class.

Historic vehicles and vehicles registered prior to 1973

All vehicles that have a 'historic' vehicle tax class or are registered prior to 1 January 1973 will be exempt from the ULEZ.

These vehicles were built before emissions standards came into force and are exempted because of their unsuitability for engine conversion or replacement.

Specialist vehicles

A small number of vehicle types which are currently exempt from the LEZ would also be exempt from the ULEZ charge. These include:

  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Non-road going vehicles which are allowed to drive on the highway (for example, excavators)
  • Certain types of mobile cranes

These vehicles typically use engines certified to different standards than road-going engines and are exempt due to their unsuitability for conversion to an alternate fuel or engine replacement. The Non Road Mobile Machinery LEZ seeks to tackle emissions from these source.

Discount for showmans' vehicles

Some showmans' vehicles, which have been custom built and are permanently fitted with a rigid body forming part of the equipment for the show, are eligible for a 100 per cent discount from the ULEZ daily charge if they are registered to a person following the business of a travelling showman and have been modified or specially constructed. Trailers and semi-trailers which have been modified or specially constructed are not eligible for the 100 per cent discount.

Have your say

We would like to hear your views on our proposals for changes to the ULEZ and LEZ.

You can do this by completing our online survey here and providing your comments no later than 28 February 2018.

You can also write to us at FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS.

Related documents

Next steps

This consultation closes on 28 February 2018. We will consider all of the feedback received and we will prepare a report to the Mayor to inform his decision.

The Mayor will then decide whether to proceed with the proposals, with or without modifications.

We expect to publicise this decision, along with the reasons behind it in the Spring 2018. If the Mayor decides to go ahead with the changes, the Euro VI standard for heavy vehicles would be introduced London-wide on 26 October 2020 and the area of the ULEZ would be expanded to inner London on 25 October 2021 (provided the Mayor confirms these implementation dates and they are not amended as part of his decision).

What else is being done to improve air quality?

Click here for further information about measures being delivered to improve air quality.

We are investing to make London’s streets healthy, safe and attractive places to walk and cycle, and improving public transport to make it easier for all Londoners to use. Enabling more journeys to be made on foot, by cycle or on public transport can help reduce private vehicle use and associated emissions. Our plans are set out in the Draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy and our work to improve air quality from non-transport sources in London is set out in the draft London Environment Strategy

TfL Buses

We have taken significant steps to reduce air pollution from our bus fleet. All buses in Greater London currently meet Euro IV standards or better for NOx and PM and will meet at least Euro VI standards by October 2020.

We intend to go beyond the ULEZ standards for our own fleet. To support the ULEZ, all double-decker buses operating in central London will be hybrid electric vehicles from September 2019 and all single-decker buses in the zone will emit no pollutants from their engine exhaust by September 2020 (eg they will be full electric or hydrogen models).

This will mean over 4,000 buses in central London will be clean and bring significant benefits to central London and to the corridors outside the ULEZ that those buses service. You can read more about our other plans to improve the TfL bus fleet

Reducing emissions from taxis and private hire vehicles

New Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licensing conditions were confirmed by TfL in 2015. The following vehicles must be Zero Emission Capable (plug-in hybrid electric and zero emission vehicles):

  • New taxis from 2018
  • Newly manufactured PHVs from 2020
  • All PHVs new to licensing from 2023

The Mayor has published an action plan for taxis and PHVs, which includes further measures to reduce emissions from taxis and PHVs.

Healthy Streets for London

We are investing to make London’s streets healthy, safe and attractive places to walk and cycle. Enabling more journeys to be made on foot or by bike can help reduce private vehicle use and associated emissions. Our approach to this is set out in the Draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy

Have your say

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Air Quality
  • Pollution
  • Emissions