Currently reading: London Mayor launches new ultra-low emissions plan
'Delivery plan' is designed to prepare road users for London's new ULEZ, which will be introduced in 2020

London Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled a ‘delivery plan’ to prepare the capital’s road users for the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which goes live in the centre of the capital from 7 September 2020.

The ULEZ scheme – which covers the same area as the congestion charge zone - will require all cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, coaches and heavy good vehicles to meet minimum emissions and pollution standards as part of an attempt to radically improve air quality in the centre of the capital.

The most ambitious part of the plan involves diesel vehicles. From 2020, only Euro 6-rated diesel vehicles will be allowed into the ULEZ zone without charge.

Cars, vans and minibuses that are not Euro 6 rated can pay a £12.50 daily charge to enter the ULEZ zone, but this will be on top of the congestion charge, which currently costs £11.50 per day.

Transport for London (TfL) says HGVs, buses and coaches that are not Euro 6 compatible will be charged £100 per day to enter the ULEZ zone on top of the daily congestion charge.

The new rules are less onerous for petrol-engined vehicles. Cars, vans and minibuses that meet Euro 4 emissions regulations will be allowed into the ULEZ without extra charge. Motorcycles and scooters must meet Euro 3 standards.

TfL says its own bus fleet operating inside the zone will use 3000 hybrid double-deckers and 300 zero-emission single-deckers, driven by either batteries or hydrogen.

TfL will also bring in legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles. From 1 January 2018, all newly licenced taxis must be ‘zero-emission capable’ with a minimum zero-emission range of 30 miles and an overall CO2 rating of under 50g/km.

TfL also says it will have installed a rapid charging network to support the new cabs by 2018.

From the same date, all newly licenced private hire vehicles will also have to be zero-emissions capable. TfL says vehicles should either be rated under 50g/km of CO2 with a 10-mile zero-emission range, or between 50g/km and 75g/km of CO2 and with a 20-mile minimum zero-emission range.

Vehicles in the ‘Historic vehicle’ tax class – built before 1 January 1973 – will be exempt from the ULEZ charges.

The Greater London Authority and TfL say they also want the local London boroughs to support the introduction of electric and hybrid-plug in vehicles in order to encourage Greater London residents to switch to low and zero-emission cars.

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They want at least 100,000 ULEZ cars in use by 2020 and possibly as many 200,000. TfL says one third of journeys in the capital are completed by private vehicle.

Hackney Council says it is working to introduce enough roadside charging points so that "all households are no more than 500 metres from a fast charger".

Charging infrastructure will be the biggest challenge for the adoption of ULEZ cars in the capital because two thirds of households do not have off-road parking.

The London Fire Brigade will also replace its support cars for electric vehicles by 2016 and is calling on manufacturers to 'bring forward' technology that would allow zero-emission fire engines.

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scrap 22 July 2015

Interesting if limited

Interesting if limited response in London. But high pollution levels plague the suburbs as well as the city centre, so more will need to be done to improve air quality there too. Euro 6 vehicles will be up to 6 years old by 2020, and perhaps polluting much more than when new. I'm increasingly convinced that the dash for diesel has been a mistake, and fuel duties should be changed to encourage more people to buy cleaner cars. On the plus side, the measures to make buses and taxis cleaner are welcome.
superstevie 22 July 2015

24 quid to drive my car into

24 quid to drive my car into the centre of London? This is why I moved from that area years ago. And these are at today's prices. By the time that comes into force, it will be over £30 I reckon.

Besides, it is the current taxi's and buses that pollute the most in the centre. Saying that all new taxi's have to be zero emmisions from 2018, but what about the old ones? Will they still be allowed in with out any charges?

Adrian987 22 July 2015

Less fumes, less sound too

Having worked in central London for some 14 years, these measures will indeed be a welcome step. A positive spin-off may also be that there is a reduction in noise pollution, with a proportion of quieter electric or hydrogen ones substituting ICE. I doubt whether the charges will reduce the actual numbers of vehicles there, though. For the two thirds of journeys that are not private vehicle, and incur ULEZ charges, those will no doubt be passed on to customers. The existing congestion charge was meant to discourage people, but I am not sure it actually did. Stats might be able to prove otherwise, of course. @superstevie, my interpretation is that non-compliant taxis and buses will incur the ULEZ charge (unless built before 1973). Those VW "GTE" vehicles may make far more financial sense for town visitors under these kind of regulations.