In 2014, Boris Johnson announced plans to introduce the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London in September 2020. Since then, the charge was brought forward to April 2019 in a bid to halve emissions from cars in the capital by 2020.
A ULEZ is a defined area within which all vehicles will have to meet strict emission requirements or face a daily charge to travel. This will be used to combat air pollution by discouraging drivers from entering the most polluted areas in unsuitable vehicles.
When did the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone start?
The ULEZ started on Monday 8th April 2019 and was applied to the same area as the Congestion Charge zone (see below).
Who will be affected?
Vans, lorries, coaches, buses, cars, motorbikes and all other vehicles will now need to meet the new, stricter emission standards, or pay the daily ULEZ charge. This is in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge.
Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001. HGVs will need to meet Euro VI standards.
The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age – but generally speaking Euro 3 engines as those registered with the DVLA after July 2007.
Changes to the LEZ
From 26 October 2020, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) emissions standards will be tougher for heavier vehicles. If you drive an HGV over 12 tonnes in Greater London at any time you will need an HGV Safety Permit to show that your vehicle meets the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Vehicles without a permit will be subject to a penalty charge notice.