ULEZ scrappage scheme: Sadiq Khan announces all Londoners with non-compliant cars to be eligible for support

The expansion of the ULEZ scrappage scheme means any Londoner with a non-compliant car or motorcycle will be able to apply.
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The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme will be expanded to include all Londoners with a non-compliant car or motorcycle, Sadiq Khan has announced.

Prior to the extension, eligibility to apply for the scheme was limited to certain groups, including people on low income or disability benefits, businesses and charities. It has already undergone one expansion, at the end of July, to include all Londoners receiving child benefit and businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

ULEZ is being expanded to cover almost all of Greater London from August 29, meaning drivers of older, more polluting vehicles will face a £12.50 daily charge.

The mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have been lobbied by campaigners, councils and London Assembly Members to widen the £110 million scheme further, due to concerns it has left many Londoners unable to access the support.

Following a period of increased pressure on his flagship clean-air initiative due to the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election result, Mr Khan has now said everyone residing in the capital with a non-compliant car or motorcycle will be eligible to apply.

There will also be additional support for sole traders, small businesses, charities, and disabled Londoners.

To fund the extension, £50m from City Hall’s reserves will be added to the scheme, increasing the pot to a total of £160m.

Mr Khan said: “I have always said that expanding the ULEZ to the whole of London was a difficult decision, and not one I took lightly – but it’s a decision I remain committed to seeing through.

“I’m not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like ULEZ, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air but help us to fight the climate crisis.”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has announced the ULEZ scrappage scheme will be expanded to include all Londoners with a non-compliant car or motorcycle. Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has announced the ULEZ scrappage scheme will be expanded to include all Londoners with a non-compliant car or motorcycle. Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has announced the ULEZ scrappage scheme will be expanded to include all Londoners with a non-compliant car or motorcycle. Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.

What does the expansion involve?

The extension of the scheme is to be delivered in two phases.

From August 4:

  • Small businesses and charities with a non-compliant van will receive increased payments of £7,000 (up from £5,000),
  • grants for wheelchair accessible vehicles will increase from £5,000 to £10,000,
  • grants for scrapping minibuses will increase from £7,000 to £9,000,
  • grants to replace a non-compliant van with electric van will increase from £7,500 to £9,500,
  • grants to replace a non-compliant minibus with an electric minibus will increase from £9,500 to £11,500,
  • and retrofit grants will increase from £5,000 to £6,000.

From August 21:

  • Every Londoner with a non ULEZ-compliant car will be eligible for a £2,000 grant,
  • small businesses and sole traders will be able to receive up to £21,000 in grants to scrap up to three vans,
  • and charities will be able to receive up to £27,000 in grants to scrap up to three minibuses.
A map showing the proposed ULEZ expansion. Credit: TfL/GoogleA map showing the proposed ULEZ expansion. Credit: TfL/Google
A map showing the proposed ULEZ expansion. Credit: TfL/Google

Mr Khan said: “I have continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners over recent months, and today I can announce a huge expansion to the scrappage scheme that means that all Londoners with non ULEZ-compliant cars will now be able to get financial support to switch to greener, less polluting vehicles.

“As we continue to build a greener and healthier London for everyone, I’m determined that no Londoner and no London business is left behind. We need to take people with us on the path to a sustainable future. We are ensuring that help is now available for everyone – and I urge Londoners to come and get it.”

John Dickie, chief executive of BusinessLDN, said: “Cleaning up London’s air not only saves lives, it makes the city a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

“The expansion of the ULEZ is an important next step on this journey and the announcement of a bigger and simpler scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles is excellent news.

“This additional support will be vital for businesses and households making the transition during a cost of living crisis.”

Cars pass a display informing drivers that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand from the end of August. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images.Cars pass a display informing drivers that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand from the end of August. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images.
Cars pass a display informing drivers that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand from the end of August. Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images.

Responding to the scheme’s expansion, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member (AM) and transport spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon said: “It’s about time the mayor listened to the Liberal Democrat calls for an expanded scrappage scheme.

“Whilst we welcome the Labour mayor at last listening, he could have saved Londoners a lot of stress and worry in the cost-of-living crisis if he had accepted our budget amendments in January and February.

“There are also questions over what happens to those who were financially vulnerable who have dug deep to scrape money together for a new vehicle, but it now turns out would have been eligible for the scheme?

“We will continue to call on the mayor for a longer lead in time - as with previous expansions of ULEZ - and for a reversal to the 12 million miles he has cut from London bus routes since 2016.”

How many non-compliant vehicles are there in London?

According to TfL and the mayor, more than 90% of cars and 80% of vans seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant.

To comply, petrol cars and vans must be Euro 4, and diesel cars and vans Euro 6. Motorcycles and mopeds must be Euro 3.

Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) earlier this year found some boroughs, such as Harrow and Sutton, have compliance rates of around 83% when analysing vehicles registered to outer London addresses.

Mr Khan and TfL however claim their data, which is gathered using automatic numberplate reading cameras (ANPR), is a more accurate measure of how many vehicles are likely to be impacted by the expansion.

Conservatives

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate in next year’s London mayoral election, said: "This is too little, too late from Sadiq Khan, who is facing mounting pressure from Londoners and his own party. Thousands of families, small businesses and charities face financial ruin because of Sadiq Khan's ULEZ expansion, which will do next to nothing to improve air quality. If I am elected mayor, I will reverse this disastrous policy and replace it with a £50m fund to reduce air pollution without taxing people."

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