ULEZ scrappage scheme: Millions left in pot two months after zone's expansion - see how much

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The scheme was launched by Sadiq Khan in January, enabling drivers to get money in exchange for scrapping their non-compliant vehicles.

Almost £40 million is still sitting in Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme pot, two months after the clean-air initiative was expanded to cover all of London.

The mayor launched the scrappage scheme, initially set at £110m, in January this year. At that point, drivers who met certain criteria were able to apply for a grant in return for scrapping their non-compliant vehicle.

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The scheme was made increasingly generous over the following months, and ahead of the expansion of the ULEZ on August 29 was not only upped to £160m but also extended to all drivers of non-compliant cars in London, with additional allowances for groups including charities and businesses.

Under the ULEZ, most drivers of non-compliant vehicles are liable to pay a £12.50 daily charge. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.Under the ULEZ, most drivers of non-compliant vehicles are liable to pay a £12.50 daily charge. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.
Under the ULEZ, most drivers of non-compliant vehicles are liable to pay a £12.50 daily charge. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images. | AFP via Getty Images

Transport for London (TfL) has been publishing semi-regular updates on the scrappage scheme, detailing how much has been spent and where the money is going. In the latest factsheet, the authority notes that, as of October 22, £121,391,500 had been committed since January, leaving just under £40m left to claim.

Of that, the majority (£72,372,500) has gone to vans and minibuses, with the rest (£49,019,000) going to cars and motorcycles. This however is due to those scrapping larger vehicles receiving more in grants, with more car and motorcycle applications approved (25,923) than vans and minibuses (11,333).

Among London’s 33 boroughs, the most money has gone to drivers in Hillingdon (£11,452,000), followed by Croydon (£9,511,400) and Havering (£8,064,700). City of London drivers have claimed the least, just £55,000.

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The data has been published the same day City Hall and TfL unveiled their report on the first month of the ULEZ expansion, covering metrics including compliance levels between August 29 and September 30.

The report indicated that on an average day in September, the number of non-compliant vehicles seen on London’s roads is estimated to have dropped by 45% compared to June. It is also expected that TfL took in more than £26m in charges over that first month, though a final cost is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Khan said: “I’ve always said that the decision to expand the Ulez was very difficult, but a month on from the expansion we can already see that it is working.

“This new data shows 95% of vehicles seen driving in London on an average day now comply with our air quality standards – a 10 percentage point increase since I began to consult on the ULEZ expansion in May 2022. This will make a huge difference to the lives and health of Londoners.”

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Susan Hall, a Conservative London assembly member (AM) and mayoral candidate, described the ULEZ as a “tax grab”, which may have taken in more than £52m up to October 30, if charges were dished out at the same rate as in September. 

“It is those on the lowest incomes who are suffering most from this disastrous charge. As mayor, I will scrap the ULEZ expansion on day one.”

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