The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is currently planned to be introduced in the Central London Congestion Charging Zone from September 2020. However, there are proposals to bring the start date forward to April 2019 and FTA members are advised to plan their fleet replacement to meet this earlier date. The ULEZ will apply to HGVs, coaches, buses, vans, minibuses, cars and motorbikes and will require diesel-engined vehicles to meet the Euro VI/6 standard. Petrol vehicles will need to meet the Euro IV/4 standard and Euro 3 for motorbikes. As with the LEZ, the ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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.
A further consultation is expected at the end of 2017 on proposals to widen the zone to the whole of Greater London (the existing LEZ) for HGVs, coaches and buses in 2020 and to the North and South Circulars for vans, minibuses, cars and motorcycles in 2021.
What is FTA campaigning for?
FTA has been in discussions with TfL since the scheme was first mooted by the Mayor of London in February 2013. The Association has told TfL that the Euro VI requirement by 2020 will be challenging for many companies, particularly for small firms and those operating certain specialist vehicles. It has also warned TfL that the second-hand Euro VI market is unlikely to have fully developed by 2020 as many large fleets bought Euro V vehicles ahead of the Euro VI mandatory date due to higher purchase prices and fuel penalties of Euro VI HGVs at the time.
There is pressure on the Mayor to bring forward the introduction date of the scheme and widen the geographical area to which it applies. However, FTA has and will continue to emphasise that the scheme is only workable for the majority of operators because it is restricted to the central London congestion charge zone and there is a five-year lead time. The Association has also called on the Mayor to offer a discount from the congestion charge for Euro VI HGVs and vans to encourage their uptake in the Capital and reap the benefits of lower emission vehicles ahead of the 2020 start date for the ULEZ.
Find out more
Contact Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at FTA