The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is in operation now for central London, with expansion confirmed up to, but not including, the north and south Circulars on 25 October 2021. The ULEZ applies to HGVs, coaches, buses, vans, minibuses, cars and motorbikes and requires diesel-engined vehicles to meet the Euro VI/6 standard. Petrol vehicles must meet the Euro IV/4 standard and Euro 3 for motorbikes. As with the Low Emission Zone (LEZ)*, the ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, except Christmas Day.
Vehicles which do not meet the ULEZ emissions standards can pay a daily charge to access the zone. This is set at £100 for HGVs, coaches and buses and £12.50 for vans, minibuses, cars and motorcycles.
Vehicles which access the zone and do not meet the required standard and fail to pay the daily charge will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which will be sent to the registered keeper. For vans, minibuses, cars and motorcycles, the PCN level will be £130 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days). The charge for HGVs, coaches and buses will be £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days). The PCN level will be in addition to any Congestion Charge or LEZ PCNs.
More information is available at https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone
*Low Emission Zone (LEZ)
On 26 October 2020, the London-wide LEZ will be tightened to Euro VI for all HGVs, lorries, vans and other specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, as well as buses/minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes. The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All roads within Greater London, those at Heathrow and parts of the M1 and M4 are included. However, the M25 is not included (even where it passes within the Greater London Authority boundary). Look out for signs at the boundary and side of the road to see where the LEZ applies. It is a separate scheme from the Congestion Charge zone and ULEZ schemes in central London. However, vehicles that comply with the ULEZ will meet the tougher LEZ standards. More information is available at https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone.
What is FTA campaigning for?
FTA has been in discussions with Transport for London (TfL) since the scheme was first mooted by the Mayor of London in February 2013. FTA campaigned for support for small firms, and a van and minibus scrappage was introduced in 2019 – more details can be found at https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/scrappage-scheme.
Sadiq Khan, current Mayor of London, has made the scheme one of his key committments and brought forward the plans to 2019 after he was elected in 2016.
FTA continues to campaign for support to HGV replacement, given that many operators have moved away from central London locations due to high land prices and for those who have yards and depots within the boundary of the planned ULEZ expansion area.
Find out more
Contact Denise Beedell, Policy Manager – Vans and Urban at FTA