London to Consult on Expanded ULEZ

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London was a pilot city for TRUE real world emissions testing.
London was a pilot city for TRUE real world emissions testing.

The Mayor Of London, and Chair of C40 Cities Sadiq Khan has today announced a plan to consult on an extension of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of Greater London.

ULEZs which restrict vehicle access to certain areas of a city based on the age, or standard of a vehicle, can have a range of impacts. London’s existing ULEZ , which was expanded in October 2021 to the city’s north and south circular roads, has by changing the pattern of vehicles in the city had a significant impact on the real-world emissions of a range of pollutants, according to analysis released by TRUE last year:

  • By encouraging a shift in diesel vehicles to latest Euro 6d models cuts average vehicle nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 94% and particulate matter (PM) by up to 98%.
  • By shifting from older Euro 2 and 3 petrol vehicles to the latest Euro 6d models cuts average NOx emissions by up to 92% and PM by up to 83%.

PM emissions from these older diesel vehicles are particularly high, with Euro 2 to Euro 4 vehicles emitting 17–41 times more PM than diesel vehicles compliant with Euro 6–6d standards, which are exempt from ULEZ access charges.

An expansion to the full area of Greater London would – according to the GLA’s analysis:

  • reduce NOx emissions from cars and vans by between 285 and 330 tonnes
  • lead to a reduction of around 10 per cent NOx in emissions from cars and vans in outer London on top of building on the 30 per cent reduction in road transport NOx emissions expected from the expanded ULEZ and tighter Low Emission Zone standards
  • reduce CO2 emissions in outer London by between 135,000 to 150,000 tonnes
  • And reduce the number of the most polluting cars on London’s roads by between an additional 20,000 and 40,000 a day.

In announcing the measures Sadiq Khan said:

“I’m determined that we continue to be doers, not delayers in London – not only to protect Londoners’ health right now, but for the sake of future generations to come. It’s clear the cost of inaction – to our economy, to livelihoods, to the environment and the health of Londoners - would be far greater than the cost of reducing toxic air pollution, tackling the climate emergency and cutting congestion.“

Responding to the announcement, Sheila Watson, Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation which supports the work of the TRUE Initiative said:

“It is part of TRUE’s mission to support Mayors as they struggle to address the growing threat to public health of dirty air caused by vehicles. By refusing to shirk this challenge, Mayor Khan is setting an example to other cities to look hard at their own policy options. The TRUE initiative stands ready to support cities as they respond to this challenge.“