The first of more than 300 signs have gone up across London this week – in preparation for the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in the centre of the city from April 2019.
The signs, which are being installed at the same locations as existing Congestion Charge signs, warn drivers at all entry points to the zone, and on a number of key approach routes, to ensure their vehicle meets tougher emission standards that come in to effect next year.
Replacing the current T-Charge, the ULEZ will see vehicles that do not meet new tougher emission standards liable to incur a daily charge to drive within the zone, ranging from £12.50 for some light vehicles, up to an additional £100 for some heavy goods vehicles. Full details of the ULEZ standards and charges can be found below.
The measure is part of the Mayor’s strategy to improve air quality in London, and it is hoped it will provide an incentive for drivers of some of the most polluting vehicles to opt for other for alternative forms of transport.
Transport for London (TfL) is seeking to ensure that the capital’s businesses and residents are not taken by surprise when the ULEZ comes into effect in April, running an ‘extensive’ communications campaign in advance of the start date.
Nick Fairholme, Director of Project and Programme Delivery at TfL, said: “We are committed to tackling the public health crisis that is London’s toxic air. It affects all Londoners, causing 9000 premature deaths every year and reducing the quality of life for thousands more.
“We’re working hard to prepare Londoners for the ULEZ and to encourage them to opt for vehicles that emit fewer pollutants or walk, cycle or use public transport. We know that many people are aware, with more than 1.3 million checks of vehicles’ compliance on our website.
“These new signs will be a physical reminder that the ULEZ is coming, but we won’t stop there. We’ve contacted registered Congestion Charge users and are currently contacting other vehicle owners who drive in central London.”
According to TfL, pre-ULEZ communications activities have included more than 2.5 million emails, engagement with over 5,000 businesses to discuss vehicle upgrade plans and posters and digital displays across the TfL network.
Particular focus is now on the van and light goods vehicle sector. At a recent event hosted by TfL alongside the British Vehicle Leasing and Rental Association (BVRLA) concerns were raised over the number of vans on UK roads that are likely to be non-compliant with the ULEZ standard.
Speaking at the event, James Davis from Cox Automotive, told delegates that approximately 80% of vans currently on the UK roads would not be compliant with the standards required by the zone.
The event aimed to help plan and develop a marketing and communications campaign aimed at SME van drivers that are likely to be impacted by the ULEZ.
Under the ULEZ standards, which will be in force 24 hours-a-day, vehicles that will incur a charge include:
- motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 12 years old in 2019)
- petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than 13 years old in 2019)
- diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (roughly the equivalent of not being more than four years old in 2019)
- Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro VI standard or pay £100 a day