ULEZ expansion announced at Lewisham school

Mayor Sadiq Khan speaking to students at Forest Hill School. Pic: Press Association

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will expand to cover most of Greater London by the end of next year, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced during a speech to staff and students at Lewisham’s Forest Hill School.

This expansion follows the introduction of the ULEZ to all of inner London, covering everywhere inside the north and south circular roads, in October of last year. Cars that do not meet European emissions standards which enter ULEZ zones have to pay a £12.50 daily charge.

This means petrol cars registered before January 2005, and diesel cars registered before January 2015. You can check your vehicle here.

Map of the proposed boundary. Graphic: Press Association

While the current boundary covers the top half of Lewisham, the proposed expansion will mean that the whole borough is part of the zone.

The mayor was at the school in an effort to get young people involved in the fight against climate change. He said: “Our city still faces a treacherous triple threat from air pollution, the climate crisis, and congestion.” He went on to add that in order for London to reach its net-zero target of 2030, London needs to reduce car traffic by at least 27% by the end of the decade.

He also said that the proposed expansion would lead to a reduction of around 10% in emissions from cars and vans in outer London and further reduce the most polluting cars on our roads by between 20,000 and 40,000 per day.

Khan ended his speech by saying: “I truly believe that every Londoner should have the right to breathe clean air, and that getting to grips with the climate crisis is the defining issue of our time.” 

Some people believe the ULEZ scheme itself is flawed. Forest Hill resident Paul Corley said of the expansion: “It is perhaps time that they set out how this would become a journey pricing zone so that people get charged for the distance they cover rather than the nonsense that if you travel one mile you get charged the same as somebody travelling 100 miles while only producing 1% of the damage.”

However, others are in full support. Sydenham resident Kevin Ryan said: “I approve of the expansion of the ULEZ in London, it should be extended to all cities in the UK, and eventually, everywhere else in the country.”

Michael Lloyd, of the Federation of Small Businesses told the Press Association that there is “great cause for concern”, saying while companies “want to do the right thing by the environment”, many cannot afford to upgrade their vehicles that do not meet the standards.

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