TfL begins installing enforcement cameras for enlarged Ultra Low Emission Zone

TfL begins installing enforcement cameras for enlarged Ultra Low Emission Zone

Transport for London has begun the next stage of radically enlarging the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) by installing the first of the 750 cameras that will be required to monitor vehicles entering and leaving it.

The expansion of the ULEZ, whose purpose is to deter drivers of vehicles that fall short of the required environmental standard, will see it grow beyond the Central London Congestion Charge Zone it currently covers to new boundaries formed by the North and South Circular roads.

This much larger ULEZ, scheduled to come into effect in October 2021, will be 18 times bigger the current one and TfL says it will “help all Londoners breathe cleaner air” by reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from road transport vehicles by “around 30 per cent across the whole city”.

The original ULEZ results from a policy originally devised by Boris Johnson but implemented by his successor 18 months sooner than Johnson had planned, preceded by an initial Toxicity Charge (“T-charge”). TfL says it “expects four out of five vehicles to be complaint” with the emission standard it has set by the time the enlarged zone comes into effect, but that “this relatively small number of older, more polluting, vehicles contributes disproportionately to London’s pollution”.

A campaign against the larger ULEZ, run by Waltham Forest Conservative councillor John Moss, contends that air quality would improve substantially anyway, that there are better measures for assisting this, and that Mayor Khan’s policy could impose a significant financial penalty on important workers, such as nurses and carers, who cannot afford to buy a new car.

However, the Mayor and Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, point to assistance for drivers might be adversely affected in the form of a scrappage scheme “for those on low incomes, disabled Londoners, small businesses and charities to switch to cleaner vehicles and greener forms of transport”.

The scrappage scheme, which was stepped up in January, includes payments of £7,000 to incentivise van owners to buy cleaner vehicles or £9,500 if the new vans run on electricity. Eligibility for this support has also been widened to embrace companies with up to 50 employees. Previously, only those with 10 employees or fewer qualified.

TfL says that the current ULEZ has contributed to “a reduction of 44 per cent in roadside nitrogen dioxide” in the area it covers  and that, as of January, “more than 80 per cent”  of vehicles driven within the zone met emissions standards – an increase from 39 per cent in February 2017. There were further improvements in air quality during the coronavirus lockdown period when traffic levels plummeted, though motor vehicle use has been rising again more recently. exists to provide fair, thorough, and resolutely anti-populist news, comment and analysis about the UK’s capital city. It now depends more than ever on donations from readers. Give £5 a month or £50 a year and you will receive the On London Extra Thursday email, which rounds up London news, views and information from a wide range of sources. Click here to donate via Donorbox or contact Thanks.

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  1. Richard says:

    Cameras, doubtless at huge expense, but they still won’t pay for actual transport infra… Hammersmith Bridge! Wake up, TRANSPORT for London, not FINES and VIRTUE SIGNALLING for London, the clue’s in the name.

  2. Trevor Spice says:

    My wife’s sister lives in Woolwich and if the proposed extension of the congestion zone was implemented,my wife would have to pay £15.00 every time she wanted to see her sister, unacceptable and an outrage

  3. Anthony Mcphillips says:

    The signage is inadequate and not clear for an occasional visitor. I had a 2 night stay near Archway and a week after getting home I have received fines totalling £240.

    I would have had no problem paying the charge if I had known I needed to, but these fines are very punitive to a visitor on an OAP pension.

    A notice via email to pay the original LEZ fee would be a much fairer way to collect the charge with punitive increases if it remains unpaid. But maybe that would not be lucrative enough.

  4. Chris Parsons says:

    I live in Chelsfield Village, near Orpington. We have a half hourly bus service which is ok,despite the route having been reduced a couple of months ago. Tfl are seeking to reduce or abolish the service,citing problems of access near the Village School.

    I have a lovely Volvo C30 and drive less than 2000 miles a year. It is a diesel and very economical. When the Ulez zone comes in next August,I shall be marooned…

    Sadiq Khan will set back Chelsfield 200 years…it’s a 4 mile round trip to Tesco’s and they do not provide horse parking…and horses have their own emission problems.
    And I don’t know how to manage one.

    Finally, the M25 is only a mile away from Chelsfield. Are non ulez compliant vehicles going to be monitored. ? Ridiculous,vindictive and misplaced.Mr Mayor.

  5. Al says:

    Don’t qualify for the scrappage scheme as I live 500 metres outside the boundary. Can’t afford another car either. We’re both pensioners and this scheme is really going to isolate us both. Well done khan.

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