The London Assembly has published its response to the Mayor of London’s air quality consultation, calling for an earlier implementation of a London-wide ULEZ for all vehicles.
The second phase of the Mayor’s public consultation on air quality in the capital, led by Transport for London, closed this week (18 December).
Among the proposals is an emissions surcharge – or ‘T-charge’ – which would apply to older polluting vehicles driving into the Congestion Charge zone from October 2017 and cost £10 per day.
And, the consultation includes a commitment to deliver an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for London in 2019 – a year earlier than initially scheduled.
The Environment Committee submitted the response on behalf of the London Assembly, the response having been agreed by the majority of the Committee.
In terms of the emissions surcharge (ES), the Assembly stated it “supports the ES as proposed,â€? but recommended the ES should end when it is superseded by the ULEZ, to avoid an over-complicated system of zonal charges.
The Assembly supported the Mayor’s proposed earlier implementation of the ULEZ by 2019, but called for “an early 2019 date rather than a date later in the year.â€?
The Assembly urged the “wide and early implementation of the ULEZ,â€? recommending a minimum expansion for light vehicles to a zone within the North and South Circulars and further consideration of wider boundary options, the most preferable option being a London-wide ULEZ for all vehicles.
“Extending the ULEZ to all of London for light vehicles as well as heavy would simplify the zonal structure, largely remove the discrepancies between north and south London, and offer the purpose-built orbital M25 motorway as a diversionary route,â€? the Assembly suggested, although it noted this option could be considered as a 2020 phase to allow drivers to acquire compliant vehicles.
The Assembly highlighted that the potential to remove Euro 6 diesels from exemption should be considered if real-world driving emission standards do not reduce emissions effectively.
Consideration should also be given to progressive tightening of exemption standards towards zero tailpipe emissions, the Assembly noted, as “a statement of intent for a zero emissions standard in 2025 would give an appropriate signal to drivers, operators and the vehicle industry.â€?
According to the Assembly, the Mayor has been ‘making proposals’ to take forward some of the Assembly’s main recommendations – implementing the central charge earlier and widening the zone to cover an extended inner zone for light vehicles and London-wide for heavy vehicles.
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.