London ULEZ scheme expansion can go ahead, court rules

The plan to extend the ULEZ (ultra-low emission zone) to cover the whole of London can go ahead after a judge this morning ruled the proposal is lawful.

The zone currently covers an area between the North and South Circular roads, but will now be extended across the entire capital from August 29.

The scheme was developed by Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London, and was implemented by now mayor Sadiq Khan.

However, five Conservative councils argued Khan acted beyond his powers to extend the scheme, but their application for a judicial review has been dismissed as judge Mr Justice Swift said the mayor acted within his powers when he amended the existing ULEZ scheme rather than create a new one.

Khan told the BBC the “landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London”.

He added the existing ULEZ has already reduced toxic nitrogen dioxide air pollution by nearly half in central London and a fifth in inner London.

“Nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant so won’t pat a penny,” said Khan.

He reiterated an announcement he made in June saying that from next week he will be expanding the scrappage scheme to “nearly a million families who receive childe benefit and all small businesses with up to 50 employees”.

If vehicles do not meet the ULEZ emissions standard and is not exempt, they need to pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive within the zone.

This applies to cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including five tonnes).

The ULEZ emissions standards are:

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles.

Euro 3 became mandatory for all new motorcycles in 2007, Euro 4 for all new cars in 2005 and light vans in 2006, and Euro 6 in 2015 for cars and light vans.

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