Mayor delivers £25m polluting car fund for low-income Londoners

23 October 2019
  • The Mayor’s £25m polluting vehicle scrappage scheme opens today for low-income and disabled Londoners. Motorists can get up to £2,000 for scrapping an older, more polluting car or motorcycle.
  • New scheme to run alongside the existing £23m fund for micro businesses, sole traders and charity owners who want to scrap older vans.
  • Sadiq is hosting International Clean Air Summit with Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), policy makers and regional leaders.
  • Mayor will call on ministers to follow London’s leadership and adopt a legally binding target of meeting the WHO air quality guidelines by 2030.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has called on ministers to toughen the UK’s targets for reaching legal pollution limits as he delivered his latest measure to reduce London’s harmful air - a £25m ‘scrap for cash’ dirty vehicle scheme for low-income and disabled Londoners.


Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London’s harmful NOx air emissions. Air pollution has an economic cost to the capital of up to £3.7 billion every year, and £20 billion cost to the country every year. 


The scrappage scheme aims to help Londoners on low incomes or with disabilities, ahead of the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion in 2021 up to the North and South Circular roads. The scheme will run alongside the existing £23m fund for micro businesses, sole traders and charity owners who want to scrap older vans.


Motorists can apply for:


  • £1,000 for scrapping a motorcycle or moped.
  • £2,000 for scrapping a car.


Alongside this, eligible applicants will be able to take advantage of a number of other offers and benefits such as one year’s free membership of Santander Cycles for all journeys up to 30 minutes.


The Mayor made the announcement as, together with the cities network UK100, he hosted an International Air Quality summit at City Hall, bringing together city leaders, environmentalists and businesses. Those present included leading environmentalist Dr Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, as well as other city leaders.


A new report published by City Hall to coincide with the summit shows London can meet the tough World Health Organization guidelines for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 2030. However, this is predicated on the Government providing additional powers and measures to London as outlined in the report.


Sadiq called on the Government immediately to amend the draft Environment Bill to adopt the WHO PM2.5 target of 2030, and give UK cities the powers and funding to make this happen.


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Air pollution is a national health crisis that is stunting the lung development of our children and leading to thousands of premature deaths. City leaders across the world are united in raising the alarm about the dangers posed by poor air quality. Here in London with our bold plans we have already cut pollution by a third in central London where we have implemented the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone and worked tirelessly to clean up the bus and taxi fleet.


“Despite the lack of Government support, our car and motorcycle scrappage scheme will enable low-income and disabled Londoners to scrap their older, polluting vehicles and switch to cleaner versions.


“We need Government Ministers to follow London’s lead and help clean our filthy air once and for all, by toughening up targets to meet the WHO air quality guidelines by 2030 and supporting a national vehicle renewal fund that will help all UK motorists to ditch their polluting cars.”


The launch of London’s scrappage scheme takes place despite no funding from Government. Even though Londoners are paying hundreds of millions of pounds in Vehicle Excise Duty every year only a tiny fraction of this money is then spent in the capital.


The Mayor also launched today the first all-electric London black cab by Dynamo. The Dynamo Taxi is expected to accelerate the retirement of current diesel taxis from city streets across the UK, improving air quality and showing how ambition on clean air can create a green economy.


Director-General World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom said: “London is one of the world’s first megacities to commit to achieving WHO air quality guidelines by 2030. Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk of our time, accounting for 7 million deaths each year. Cities can, and must, tackle this public health priority. Investments in energy access, clean and sustainable transport, energy-efficient housing, power generation, industry and better municipal waste management can effectively reduce key sources of air and climate pollutants.”


Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: Air pollution is an urgent matter of health injustice and inequality. The reality is that it is children in our poorest communities who are most exposed to polluted air. We owe it to them to act and act now.


“Greater Manchester is working hard to tackle air pollution, which is damaging our health and is linked to the equivalent of 1,200 early deaths each year in our city-region. It is our largest environmental risk to public health and it must be tackled as quickly as possible.


“But it is essential that central government supports areas like Greater Manchester with the costs of cleaning up our air, rather than landing the full cost on local people and businesses.”


The International Air Quality Summit will launch UK100’s Clean Air Declaration. The Declaration has so far been signed by 15 cities and six businesses which have committed to prioritise ambitious action that tackles air pollution and calls on government to put in place: World Health Organization air pollution standards, as a minimum; programmes that support people to switch to active travel, public transport and stimulate the market for larger zero-emission vehicles including the creation of a £1.5 billion Vehicle fleet renewal fund; increased powers to tackle the clean air and climate emergency; and an ambitious roadmap to 2030 that delivers clean air. 


Director of UK100, Polly Billington, said: "We're bringing together businesses, political leaders and health experts to agree a plan to tackle air pollution. Our summit will last for one day - but in that time our toxic air will have contributed to another 100 people dying across the UK. That should focus all our minds."  


Notes to editors

  1. To apply for the scheme visit here: Individuals eligible for the £25 million scheme need to be in receipt of one or more of the following means-tested benefits:

·                      Pension Credit

·                      Universal Credit

·                      Child Tax Credit

·                      Housing Benefit

·                      Income Support

·                      Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

·                      Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance

·                      Working Tax Credit


And/or applicants in receipt of one or more of the following non means-tested Disability benefits:

·                      Personal Independence Payment

·                      Disability Living Allowance

·                      Attendance Allowance

·                      Armed Forces Independence Payment

·                      War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement

·                      Carers’ Allowance

·                      Severe Disablement Allowance

·                      Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits

·                      Constant Attendance Allowance


The applicant must also reside within the Greater London Authority boundary.

  1. TfL have an online tool to help people check whether their vehicle meets the ULEZ standards, which has been used almost 3.5 million times:
  2. You can find the full report on PM2.5 here:
  3. Taking the Nissan e-NV200 Evalia MPV as a basis, each Dynamo Taxi is re-engineered into a wheelchair-accessible vehicle capable of carrying up to five passengers by Dynamo at its Coventry headquarters.



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