Driving into London central is about to become even more expensive. That is, unless, you are driving an updated car which has the latest and greatest emissions regulations.
Central London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been implemented. This means that drivers of cars which are not up to date with the latest and greatest emissions regulations will have to pay an additional £12.50 (about $16) to get into the center of London. Before now, the center of London was already subject to an £11.50 ($15) congestion charge. Drivers of vehicles that don’t qualify for the charge will have to pay both fees while drivers of vehicles that qualify still have to pay the standard congestion charge.
The rules for who will and will not pay to appear pretty cut and dry. Gas cars and vans made before 2006 that don’t meet Euro 4 emissions standards all have to pay the ULEZ charge. Diesel cars and vans made before 2015 that don’t meet the Euro 6 emission standards also have to pay the fee. Motorcycles made before 2007 that don’t meet the Euro 3 standards also have pay. Matters are even worse for buses that don meet the Euro 6 standards. Vehicles under that category are to pay £100 (about $130). Failure to comply will result in either a warning or worse, a £160 (about $210) fine.
This move is all about improving air quality in a crowded part of London. According to the Transport for London’s website, there are “at least 360 primary schools in areas with illegal pollution levels,” so it’s clearly a public health issue. There are many respiratory and pulmonary issues which can be caused by vehicle emissions thereby putting a strain on the healthcare industry and generally making life more annoying for people caught up in the smog.
This is just the beginning for the ULEZ charge. According to the report by BBC, a map shows that the zone with UPEZ charge will expand vastly on Oct. 25, 2021, extending to most of Greater London.