Air Quality Cars Clean Transport congestion Congestion charge Congestion Charging Zone congestion zones Consumer Technology electric cars electric vehicles Emissions Health Hybrid Electric Cars London PHEV Policy & Politics Pollution Sadiq Kahn socialism Technology traffic UK ULEZ Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

London ULEZ — Ultra Low Emission Zone



Revealed on Might 11th, 2019 |
by Andy Miles

Might 11th, 2019 by Andy Miles 

This article is concerning the London ULEZ (or Ultra Low Emission Zone) and the Congestion Charging Zone. Both are decreasing visitors and air pollution in London.

Governments, both national and native, have many options to accelerate the progress of the electrical car revolution. Some would come beneath the heading of “stick,” and a few would come underneath the heading of “carrot.” I intend to write down one other article that examines all the numerous prospects, and in addition maybe ask the question of why governments usually are not assembly their duties in this area.

Visitors Reduction Zones

On this article, nevertheless, I am speaking specifically about one notably efficient deterrent that governments can employ. That is to introduce zones during which polluting automobiles are either banned altogether or charged a payment for the privilege of polluting. Personally, I would like to see a ban, but politicians are normally less bold and have to think about their electability in the next election. Definitely, wherever these zones are employed, they’ve a dramatic impact in decreasing congestion, the entire number of automobiles driving into the zone, and, in fact, the resulting air pollution.

The Congestion Charge

In London, for over 15 years, there has already been a congestion cost, which applies to most automobiles between sure occasions on sure days inside the defined congestion charging zone. That system makes use of cameras linked to artificial intelligence techniques to read the quantity plates of automobiles shifting inside the zone, with a view to create a charge report for the car. Drivers getting into the zone can both register on the automated cost system earlier than or make a guide cost shortly afterwards. If paying afterwards, cost data are then matched with cost data, that are then cleared. Congestion_Pricing_FlowchartFor many who are preregistered, payments are taken routinely. Any outstanding cost data cause the system to access the nationwide database of auto registrations to determine the registered keeper of the car and send them a bill, including a nice for non-payment.

In 2006, Transport for London (TfL) reported that the cost decreased visitors by 15%, and congestion (the extra time a visit would take because of visitors) by 30%. This effect has continued to at the moment, so it has been an awesome success. Some great benefits of charging zones are properly represented on this little chart on the best I borrowed from Wikipedia.


The Congestion Cost is an £11.50 day by day cost for driving a car inside the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday.

  • In October 2021, TfL will only permit 100% electric models to drive free of charge

  • From Christmas Day 2025, all automobiles — together with EVs — should pay the £11.50 charge

That isn’t a very good Christmas current for EV drivers, but it’s an effective anti-congestion measure and EVs do cause congestion too. Personally, I don’t want any disincentives, as I might relatively stroll on scorching coals than drive across London, so I solely endure this ordeal sometimes for the sake of seeing my eldest daughter and her new household.

Some Exempt Hybrids

At present, some plug-in hybrid automobiles are exempt. Solely hybrid automobiles emitting lower than 75g/km CO2 in electric-only mode for 20 miles are exempt from the Congestion Cost. Examples of those are:

  • BMW 530e iPerformance — 49g/km emissions and 31-mile electric range.
  • Volvo XC60 T8 (the petrol-electric hybrid version of Volvo’s midsize SUV) — 28-mile electric vary.
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV — 30-mile electric vary.
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in — almost 40 miles in electric mode.

Non-plug in hybrids will not be exempt, and some older plug-in hybrids with very brief battery ranges won’t qualify, both.

London Not Alone

London isn’t the only metropolis to make use of charging zones. In line with Wikipedia, London, Durham, Stockholm, Singapore, Milan, and Gothenburg have them. Different cities have tried however have been overruled by public opinion or political interference. The tide of public opinion may be changing since “dieselgate” and from individuals’s a lot higher consciousness of the evils of visitors air pollution. The well-known UK university town of Oxford will probably be closing part of itself to all ICE automobiles from 2020, with a unbroken enlargement of the zone after that.

The BBC only recently reported on the case of a younger woman, Ella Kissi-Debrah, who, sadly, died of asthma. The case is the topic of legal proceedings, which could make her the first individual for whom visitors pollution will probably be instantly listed because the official explanation for demise. The case is particularly embarrassing for our Tory government, which have been taken to courtroom Three occasions over their failure to take any effective motion to scale back air pollution in our cities.

London has a socialist mayor, Mr. Sadiq Khan. The Congestion Charge Zone and the brand new Ultra Low Emissions Zone are no less than an try at efficient motion.

The Congestion Cost was began by Ken Livingstone, a previous socialist Mayor. The next is a map displaying the Congestion Charge Zone.


Current ULEZ and Congestion Cost Zone. Picture by TfL

The New London ULEZ

The London ULEZ, or London Ultra Low Emission Zone, is the newest London visitors zone. The Congestion Charge system has been a testbed for such methods. It has been a check of public opinion to see if the bulk would help such a measure. It has been a check of the know-how concerned, to ensure its right and efficient operation. Having established both of this stuff, it was attainable to go ahead with the London ULEZ.

The software for the ULEZ needs to be extra refined than for the congestion zone. It not only has to learn the quantity plates, but in addition determine what sort of car it is from the registration data of every car. Then it has to determine whether or not the car is exempt from the charge or not. Solely then can it create a charge report as it will for the congestion zone.

It’s a pity the congestion charging system does not work in the identical method: drivers of exempt automobiles have to apply for an exemption yearly, for which there’s an administration cost of £10. For someone visiting London only every year, a payment of £10 for the privilege is hardly an “exemption” when the every day charge is £11.50.

3-Part Rollout

The London ULEZ will probably be rolled out in three phases: the primary of those came into impact on April 8, 2019, in central London – where the congestion cost at present applies too.

On Oct 26 2020, a London-wide Low Emission Zone might be brought into impact for larger automobiles like lorries. That is the “LEZ” — simply to be clear, a bigger zone than the “ULEZ.”

The ultimate part will prolong the ULEZ, for all automobiles, to internal London boroughs, on October 25, 2021. The boundary will be the North and South Circular Roads, which was the London bypass earlier than the M25 orbital motorway was constructed.


Current and future boundaries for ULEZ. Picture by TfL


The typical every day cost for a automotive that doesn’t meet new emissions requirements is £12.50, in addition to the congestion cost. ULEZ costs are in effect 365 days a yr.

Most automobiles are subject to the £12.50 fee, together with vans, minibuses, and bikes.

Drivers failing to pay the ULEZ charge will face a penalty of £160 (lowered to £80 if they pay inside 14 days).

Nevertheless, lorries will face a a lot larger every day ULEZ cost at £100. If this cost isn’t paid, lorry drivers face a penalty of £1000 (lowered to £500 if paid inside 14 days).

Exempt Automobiles

Automobiles should meet the following Euro frameworks to be exempt from the ULEZ expenses:

  • Euro Three for Motorbikes — engines should not produce greater than 2.3g/km of carbon monoxide, and 0.15g/km of nitrogen oxide.
  • Euro 4 for petrol automobiles, minibuses, vans — engines must not produce greater than 1g/km of carbon monoxide, or 0.08g/km of nitrogen oxide. As this can be most petrol automobiles produced after 2006 most petrol automobiles, and petrol hybrids will cross.
  • Euro 6 for diesel automobiles, minibuses, vans — engines must not produce more than 0.5g/km of carbon monoxide, zero.08g/km of nitrogen oxide, or zero.zero05g/km of particulate matter.

It was proven that some diesel automobiles, categorized as “Euro 6,” have been producing as much as 25 occasions the permitted air pollution in real-world driving. The checks have been subsequently revised concurrently the WLPT requirements have been introduced, so hopefully that’s not the case.

Ultimate Ideas

For my part, individuals should have the spur of necessity to ponder the ordeal of London driving. It’s a marvel that any additional deterrents are needed, but it is now probably very expensive to drive there. The ULEZ supplies each incentive to buy a less polluting automotive.

This may affect individuals’s shopping for decisions if they need to drive in London even just a few occasions within the yr, so might have useful results far beyond its boundaries. In case you are visiting London, don’t hire a automotive, as an alternative use the Tube trains if you understand the place you are going, or taxis for those who don’t.

The requirements usually are not set very high for petrol automobiles, however it is a begin, and may be made extra stringent later. The federal government have “boldly” introduced a ban on the sale of all new diesel and petrol automobiles from 2040, however are being informed by all with an curiosity in saving the planet that 2040 is laughably late — it ought to be from 2025, or 2030 on the latest, to have any real effect. In fact, this is the Tory government, so bulletins are solely gauged as having a superb PR effect or not, and usually are not typically meant to truly do something useful.



Tags: Air High quality, congestion, Congestion charge, Congestion Charging Zone, congestion zones, Emissions, London, Air pollution, Sadiq Kahn, socialism, visitors, UK, ULEZ, Ultra-Low Emissions Zone

Concerning the Writer

Andy Miles As a toddler, I had the unrealistic expectation that I might study, and understand, completely the whole lot, through the course of growing up. Now, at the other finish of life, I am absolutely aware of how much I’ve not learnt, and do not perceive, and yet, remain eager about the whole lot. My schooling, starting with an arts degree, and happening to postgraduate studies, in every little thing from pc science, to hypnotism, mirrored my broad pursuits. For 20 years, I worked in local government, and am now retired, dwelling in North Leicestershire in the UK, with plenty of time for doing whatever I like. I’ve all the time had a eager interest in every part various, which includes renewable power and power efficiency and, in fact, electric automobiles. So, naturally, I’ve taken ownership of an EV, now that they’re reasonably priced and practical forms of transport. Writing can also be considered one of my nice pleasures, so writing about EVs and environmental issues, is a natural evolution for me. You will discover my work on EV Obsession, and CleanTechnica, and you can too comply with me on twitter.

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