Automotive Industry Digest

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London ULEZ expansion: third of drivers to be priced off the road?

A Freedom of Information request on the impact of an expanded London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) suggests that a third of car owners could be priced off the road by daily charges.

The London Mayor announced this morning that car drivers living in or entering a ULEZ extended to Outer London could pay a daily access charge of £12.50 from 29 August 2023, if their vehicles are too old to comply with emissions restrictions.

Essentially, a car needs to be a Euro 4 petrol model or younger or Euro 6 diesel model to comply with the emissions standards.

The consultation admits that 18% of vehicles will be hit by the charges. However, information released by Transport for London points to a 34% impact on London car owners in some areas:

For each vehicle type, the total number of registered vehicles is provided, followed by the number of non-compliant with ULEZ standards. The end column lists the proportion of non-compliant vehicles as a percentage of the total:

LB Havering correct as of end 2020
Vehicle Type Total Non-Compliant Percentage of Non-Compliant
Car 128,765 43,390 34%
LGV 13,962 9,743 70%
HGV 1,731 784 45%
Quadricycle 6 0 100%
Two & Three Wheeler 4,173 Unknown Unknown

“The original ULEZ impacted on 300,000 car-owning London residents, the vast majority coming from low-income backgrounds without the ability to afford a replacement vehicle. This expansion of the zone will price hundreds of thousands more off the road,” says Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy.

“These drivers and their families will, hopefully, be starting to recover from the cost of living crisis in August of next year. The London Mayor wants to hit them with a charge or a car-replacement cost that they will never be able to afford.

“The AA believes that far more can be done in lowering London’s emissions by an expansion of Park & Ride and Park & Cycle facilities on the city’s outskirts. That benefit would remove the emissions from huge numbers of cars (Cambridge converts 3.6 million inner-city car journeys into bus trips this way each year) long after the ULEZ becomes defunct.

“With pump prices so high, it calculates that there is little difference in cost to driving from outside into inner London than taking public transport. By train or underground, the journey time is halved, which makes Park and Ride a no-brainer.”

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