Ultra Low Emission Zone plans could cover most of London from 2023 with mayor warning of 'toxic air crisis'

·2 min read

Plans to expand London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the entire city have been put forward for consultation by Sadiq Khan.

The capital's mayor wants to extend the scheme's boundary from the North and South Circular Roads to the whole of Greater London from 29 August next year.

Drivers who do not comply with minimum emissions standards are charged a daily fee of £12.50 for entering the ULEZ.

It comes after analysis by the PA news agency found more than 3.5 million more people will live within the zone if it is expanded as planned.

The mayor's office has estimated that an additional 135,000 vehicles would be affected per day.

It warned the capital is suffering a "toxic air crisis", with around 4,000 premature deaths in 2019 attributed to filthy air.

The boroughs of Barnet, Bromley, Croydon and Havering had the most deaths, demonstrating that poor air quality "is not just a central London problem", Mr Khan's office added.

Whether or not a vehicle is liable for the ULEZ charge depends on how much nitrogen dioxide (NO2) it emits.

Read more: London's Ultra Low Emission Zone just got bigger - is your area affected?

NO2 damages lungs and can worsen existing conditions such as asthma and lung and heart disease.

For diesel cars to avoid the charge they must generally have been registered after September 2015, while most petrol models registered from 2005 are exempt.

Mr Khan previously ruled out introducing a Clean Air Charge, which would have affected drivers of all but the cleanest vehicles.

He also decided not to go ahead with a proposal to charge drivers of vehicles registered outside London for entering the capital.

The consultation is being conducted by Transport for London.

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