Are you ready for this? London’s new T-Charge has hit motorists driving older diesel cars in London. But the T-Charge will seem like small beer when the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) kicks in on 8 April 2019.
The ULEZ is expected to impact 60,000 vehicles per day, compared to just 6,500 per day for the T-Charge. It will run 7 days a week, 24 hours per day — unlike the T-Charge, which only applies on weekdays.
The ULEZ charge will apply to diesel vehicles which don’t meet the Euro 6 emissions standard and most petrol vehicles which don’t meet Euro 4. A charge of £12.50 per day will apply to cars, vans and motorcycles which don’t meet these standards.
Will my vehicle be hit? The RAC has pointed out that there isn’t yet a central online database vehicle owners can use to check the emissions levels of their vehicles.
That’s true, but Transport for London has provided an online checker for both the T-Charge and the ULEZ:
Although there are some exceptions, a useful rule of thumb is that diesel cars registered from 2015 onwards will meet the ULEZ requirement in 2019.
What area will the ULEZ cover? The ULEZ will initially apply to the same area as the existing Congestion Charging Zone. To see this on a map, click here. The ULEZ will apply in addition to the Congestion Charge.
However, be aware that a consultation is due to start later this year on expanding the ULEZ to include all of London out to the North/South Circular roads from 2021, for cars, vans and motorcycles.
Why do we need the ULEZ? Air pollution has become a serious public health problem in London. A particular issue are nitrogen dioxide (NOx) particulate emissions from older diesel engines, which can cause serious respiratory problems.
The ULEZ is expected to result in a 20% reduction in NOx levels in central London, providing health benefits for more than 100,000 people.