London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand next week, affecting hundreds of thousands of vehicles driving through the capital.
The zone will now cover the entire area inside the North and South Circular roads, with a daily toll of £12.50 for non-compliant vehicles. Previously,it covered an area focused on the centre of London.
The zone was initially introduced by London mayor Sadiq Khan to improve air quality for millions of Londoners. Although air quality has improved in recent years, toxic air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to the health of Londoners, says Transport for London (TfL). The implementation of the central London clean air zone led to a 44% drop in roadside nitrogen dioxide, but while there have been improvements in central areas, other parts of the city still exceed the legal pollution limit.
How does the ULEZ expansion work?
The ULEZ boundary will be expanded on 25 October 2021 to include the entire area inside the North Circular and South Circular roads.
Road signs at every entry point along the boundary will indicate the start of the ULEZ, and they will sit alongside or below existing Congestion Charge signs. You can see a map of the zone below or use the TfL postcode checker to see if your destination falls inside the ULEZ.
Which areas will be affected by the expansion?
The expansion covers new areas including:
- City of Westminster
- Hammersmith and Fulham
- Kensington and Chelsea
- Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets
- Waltham Forest
Which vehicles will be affected?
Cars, vans, buses, coaches, lorries and motorbikes are all included in the new rules, but the charge will only apply to models that don't meet certain emissions standards. Petrol vehicles must meet Euro 4 standards, which became mandatory for all cars registered after January 2006. Diesel models must comply with Euro 6, which became mandatory for all cars registered after September 2015. This means all Euro 0-5 diesels and Euro 0-3 petrols will need to pay the charge.
Petrol cars newer than 2006 and diesel cars newer than 2015 meet the ULEZ requirements and therefore must pay only the Congestion Charge. However, owners of older cars should still use the TFL ULEZ vehicle checker to see if their car is affected or not: some older models were made compliant before it became mandatory and are not required to pay the charge. Electric cars and Euro 6-compliant hybrids officially capable of at least 20 miles of zero-emissions driving qualify for the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), which also includes a 100% reduction on the Congestion Charge.