The mayor of London has warned motorists to check if their vehicle is liable for the capital’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone charge coming into force in April.
The plan, aimed at reducing air pollution in the city, will require drivers of the most-polluting vehicles to pay £12.50 a day within a certain zone the central London congestion zone, on top of the existing congestion charge.
Transport for London says that as well as 1.5 million diesel cars, there were 500,000 petrol cars, 55,000 HGVs and 10,000 coaches that failed to meet the ULEZ standards in the central congestion charging zone last year.
To escape the ULEZ charge – which starts on April 8 and will be in force all day every day – diesel cars, HGVs and coaches must meet the most stringent Euro 6 emissions standards. That puts an automatic fee on most vehicles registered before 2016.
For petrol cars, the Euro 4 standard needs to be met, which came into force in 2006.
The existing congestion charging zone will remain in place, meaning motorists who drive into the very centre of London and whose vehicles don’t meet ULEZ standards will face a daily bill of £24. Lorries and coaches will have to pay £100 to enter the new zone.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London’s toxic air is a public health emergency and the introduction of ULEZ is exactly the sort of bold action that is required to deal with it.
“I know Londoners are passionate about improving the quality of the air they breathe so – with only three months to go before the launch of ULEZ – I’d encourage everyone who drives within central London to spend a couple of minutes checking whether their vehicle complies with the new emissions standards.
“A predicted 45 per cent fall in harmful emissions within the zone should be a great start to improving the lives of millions of Londoners.”
In order to make drivers aware, TfL will install warning signs at all entry points. Owners of registered congestion charge vehicles that do not meet the standards are also being contacted directly.