Sadiq Khan proposes early delivery of Ultra-Low Emission Zone

10 October 2016
  • Mayor launches second phase of air quality consultation. Plans include the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2019, a year ahead of schedule
  • Views also sought on proposals to introduce an Emissions Surcharge (“T-charge”) for older polluting vehicles entering the Congestion Charge zone in October 2017
  • New research reveals people living in most deprived areas of London are exposed to higher concentrations of harmful pollution

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today laid out bold detailed proposals for delivering the Central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019, a year ahead of schedule, extending the ULEZ to the North and South Circular in 2019 or later, and started the formal consultation necessary to introduce the ‘T charge’ for older polluting vehicles in October 2017.
The proposals are part of the Mayor’s second air quality consultation led by Transport for London (TfL), which follows on from the initial round of consultation last summer, which attracted a record 15,000 responses. 
New City Hall research* shows that people living in London’s most deprived communities, often by busy roads, are on average exposed to 25 per cent higher levels of harmful NO2 pollution.
It is estimated that the equivalent of 9,400 premature deaths occur each year in London due to illnesses caused by long-term exposure to air pollution and 448 schools in London are in areas exceeding legal air quality levels. Diesel vehicles are recognised as a major contributor to pollution and associated health impacts in London and the Mayor wants to phase out these vehicles from the bus, taxi and other fleets.
The Mayor launched the new consultation whilst visiting St Saviour’s and St Olave’s Church of England Secondary School in Southwark, situated off the busy, traffic heavy, New Kent Road,  an area that would be included in the Mayor’s proposals for ULEZ expansion to the North and South Circular. 
The head teacher wrote to the Mayor earlier this summer to highlight her concerns about pupils being exposed to high levels of air pollution from traffic.
Sadiq Khan said: “Toxic air in London is a health emergency that requires bold action, including introducing charges for older polluting vehicles and expanding the ULEZ. I am determined to help every Londoner breathe cleaner air.  After the massive response to my first consultation I now need the public to let me know their views on my detailed proposals to help clean-up our filthy air.“
Alex Williams, TfL’s Managing Director of Planning, said: “The Mayor has asked us to set out in detail and seek views on a range of proposals that will have a significant impact in reducing pollution in the capital.  We think these ambitious proposals show London is taking the lead globally in tackling one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.  I would urge as many people as possible to respond to the consultation to help us shape our plans.”
The consultation gives Londoners’ the opportunity to have their say on the preferred date for the start of an expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone – which is up to the North South circular for cars, motorcycles and vans, and in central London for buses, coaches and lorries.. Options include as early as 2019 to 2021 or later. Depending on feedback the Mayor will ask TfL to develop these potential options into detailed statutory proposals for consultation next year.

The proposed Emissions Surcharge (T-charge) would apply to older polluting vehicles driving into the Congestion Charge zone from October 2017.  This charge would be in addition to the Congestion Charge and would apply to vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4/IV emissions standard for NOx and PM emissions. Pre-Euro 4 vehicles are generally those registered up to and including 2005. The charge, costing £10 per day for non-compliant vehicles, would operate at the same times as the Congestion Charge (Monday to Friday, 07:00 – 18:00).   
The Mayor has also called on Government to put in place a national diesel scrappage scheme to help people replace vehicles affected by the proposals. There was overwhelming support for this in the first round of his consultation. He also wants fiscal incentives, like vehicle excise duty, to be reformed so they support the Mayor’s proposals and encourage people to own and use the cleanest vehicles.
To further support the ULEZ, TfL is leading by example and will ensure all double decker buses operating in the ULEZ will be hybrid and all single decker buses will be fully electric or hydrogen.
For full details of the proposals and how to have their say, customers, stakeholders and residents can:
Email [email protected]
The consultation closes on 18 December 2016.  A further final consultation will take place in early 2017, which will take into account the views from this consultation and propose statutory changes to the ULEZ.

Notes to editors

Additional quotes:

Harry Quilter-Pinner, IPPR researcher on health, responding to the Mayor of London’s announcement of a new consultation on tackling air pollution in London said: “Our research shows that London is breaking both legal and World Health Organisation limits on air pollution and that the biggest cause of this is diesel vehicles. It shows that without a change in policy up to 9,400 people will die prematurely across capital every year, and London will remain above legal limits until 2025 and beyond. We welcome the launch of the formal consultation on additional regulation to address air pollution in the capital. The Mayor of London has taken a vital step in cleaning up London’s toxic air.”
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “It’s a tragedy that we continue to see pollution limits broken in many parts of the capital, urgent action is needed to clean up London’s air. We are pleased the Mayor has prioritised improving air quality. Air pollution contributes to 9,500 early deaths in London every year. It worsens existing lung conditions, increases the risk of getting lung cancer and impairs child lung development.”
Andrew Proctor, Director of Advice and Support at Asthma UK, said:  “We welcome the Mayor’s plans to improve air quality in London. Two-thirds of people with asthma tell us poor air quality makes their asthma worse, which puts them at higher risk of an asthma attack. There is now also strong evidence suggesting that air pollution is linked to the development of asthma. Children and young adults with asthma are more at risk from the effects of pollution because they have faster breathing rates, and their lungs are still developing.”
Emissions Surcharge (‘T-charge’)
TfL are seeking views on proposals to introduce a new Emission Surcharge (also known as the ‘T-charge) in 2017. This would be a £10 daily charge for cars, vans, minibuses and heavy vehicles driving within Central London that do not meet the Euro 4/IV emission standard. It’s mostly for vehicles registered in 2005 and older, and would be in addition to the Congestion Charge.

Residents with non-compliant vehicles who pay via CC Auto Pay would only pay £2.05 per day (90 per cent discounted Emissions Surcharge of £1 plus 90 per cent discounted Congestion Charge of £1.05) to drive in the Congestion Charging Zone in charging hours.

Vehicles that are parked all day will not be charged for that day.  Residents with non-compliant vehicles registered for the Congestion Charge discount will automatically be registered for the ES discount.

All vehicles that receive a ‘9 or more seats’ 100 per cent Congestion Charge discount (e.g. minibuses, coaches) and do not meet the Euro 4/IV standard would need to pay a daily £10 Emissions Surcharge.

Vehicles with a historic tax class (40 years and older) and/or commercial vehicles manufactured prior to 1973, that currently pay the Congestion Charge would be exempt from the Emissions Surcharge;

Specially constructed or modified Showman’s Vehicles, that currently pay the Congestion Charge will get a 100 per cent discount from the Emissions Surcharge, owing to the specialist and nature and limited number of these vehicles
Ultra Low Emission Zone
This is a separate scheme that will operate 24/7 and introduce stricter emissions standards for vehicles. The Mayor and TfL would also like your views on the following ideas:

  • Introducing ULEZ in 2019, rather than 2020
  • Extending the zone up to the North and South Circular in 2019 or later
  • Extending the zone London-wide for heavy vehicles only in 2019 or later

Mayor’s Clean Air Consultation
The results of the first stage of the Mayor’s clean air consultation can be viewed here:
The consultation received 15,000 responses – the highest number of responses to a single City Hall consultation ever. The consultation, which ran from 5 July to 29 July, revealed that 79 per cent of Londoners consulted supported the Mayor’s proposal to bring the Ultra-Low Emission Zone forward to 2019 and that 71 per cent believe it should be expanded to the North and South Circular. There was even stronger support for implementing an early £10 Emissions Surcharge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017. Depending on feedback from this consultation and on-going feasibility work, the Mayor will decide whether these options should be pursued.  If so, he will ask TfL to work-up definitive proposals which the public and stakeholders would be consulted on in 2017. The public and stakeholders will therefore have a further full opportunity to be consulted on a detailed proposal in addition to their feedback to this consultation.