ULEZ: City Hall unveils how many compliant cars were available near London pre-expansion
The mayor’s scrappage scheme means all Londoners with non-compliant vehicles can receive grants of £2,000 from TfL.
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The extension of the ULEZ from the North and South Circular roads on August 29 means most drivers of non-compliant vehicles are now liable to pay a £12.50 daily charge, in a bid to improve air pollution in the capital.
Ahead of the extension, London mayor Sadiq Khan hailed Tuesday as a “landmark day”, though critics have accused the mayor of piling a further financial burden on motorists during a cost-of-living crisis.
Official data suggests more than 90% of cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant. A separate analysis of the number of vehicles registered to outer London properties however indicated just 83% of vehicles in some boroughs, such as Harrow and Sutton, meet the ULEZ standards.
To mitigate some of the pressures on those driving vehicles which are not compliant, the mayor had launched a scrappage scheme for residents and other groups having to shift to less polluting alternatives.
Initially targeted towards those on the lowest incomes and in receipt of certain benefits, the scheme was gradually extended to include all Londoners with non-compliant cars, and its initial £110m pot increased to £160m.
Those trading in can receive a grant of £2,000 for their car, plus the potential for additional money directly from the company scrapping it.
The mayor’s team has now said that, in a search of vehicle retailers on August 28, 4,641 cars could be bought which were ULEZ-compliant, costed less than the grant offered by Transport for London (TfL) to scrap, and were within 200 miles of the centre of the capital.
According to TfL data up to July 23, £38,543,700 of the total scrappage scheme pot had been committed. However, the deputy mayor for transport, Seb Dance, has since told LondonWorld there was a steep rise following the extension of the support to all Londoners with non-compliant cars on August 21.
A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “The mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one, but necessary to tackle toxic air pollution and the climate crisis.
“Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year due to air pollution, children are growing up with stunted lungs and thousands of people in our city are developing life-changing illnesses, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.
“Nine out of ten cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already ULEZ compliant and their drivers will not have to pay the charge. The mayor is doing all he can to support Londoners with the switch to cleaner vehicles, and expanded the scrappage scheme so that every Londoner with a non-compliant car is eligible to apply for a £2,000 grant.
“Sadiq is using limited funding to provide a scheme that should be funded at a national level. The mayor continues to call on the government to provide funding to London and the Home Counties for scrappage schemes, as they have done for other cities implementing Clean Air Zones such as Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth – and invites other politicians to join him.”
Analysis by the Telegraph has suggested at least a quarter of the ULEZ cameras installed for the expansion have been vandalised, with six outer London boroughs seeing more than a third of their cameras affected.
Polling by YouGov indicated that while most Londoners are against damage to cameras, a majority of respondents intending on voting Conservative at next year’s mayoral election back the vandalism.