You’ll have no doubt seen the initials ULEZ used in the press and online, frequently next to Sadiq Khan’s name and talk of pollution and congestion charging. So what is a ULEZ?
ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone.
It’s an area within which all vehicles (be that cars, motorbikes, buses, vans, minibuses, coaches, or HGVs) need to meet a certain exhaust emission standard to travel within it – or they must pay a fee to do so.
You’ve likely heard of such schemes before, whether it be in Paris, London, or another major city. In restrictions have been in place for almost 10 years, to help combat air pollution, as part of the LEZ (Low Emission Zone).
The new London ULEZ is planned to come into force in 2020 – although current Mayor Sadiq Khan may bring this forward. It will sit in the same area as the CCZ (Congestion Charging Zone), and will run alongside the existing LEZ. The restrictions will be in affect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and public holidays.
The zone will be identifiable by signage, although there will be no barriers or tolls to enter. Once in the area, vehicles registration plates will be screened by CCTV and the data checked with the DVLA.
The following is a table of requirements, and the fees payable if the area is entered into:
| Vehicle type
Includes hybrid vehicles
|Minimum emission standards
||Date from when manufacturers must register new vehicles which meet the emission standards|| Maximum age (date first registered as new with the DVSA) of vehicle by 2020
Vehicles this age or younger in 2020 will meet with the ULEZ standards and not incur a charge
|Charge if vehicle does not meet the ULEZ standards. This is payable in addition to any applicable LEZ or CCZ charges|
|Motorcycles, moped etc.
|Euro 3||From 1 July 2007||13 years||£12.50|
|Car and small van
Category M1 and N1 (I)
|Euro 4 (petrol)
Euro 6 (diesel)
|From 1 January 2006
From 1 September 2015
|Large van and minibus – Category N1 (II and III) and M2||Euro 4 (petrol)
Euro 6 (diesel)
|From 1 January 2007
From 1 September 2016
|HGV – Category N2 and N3||Euro VI||From 1 January 2014||6 years||£100|
|Bus/coach – Category M3||Euro VI||From 1 January 2014||6 years||£100|
Residents within the ULEZ will be given a three-year sunset period in which to change their vehicles, with a government grant available to purchase a new suitable one. This will also apply to vehicles with a disabled tax exemption, and until 2023, will not charge them fees. However, blue badge holders will need to comply with the new legislation.
If fees aren’t paid, additional fines will be added, and action taken from there.
Author Lex Barber