May 23, 2019
It has officially been one month since the initial introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) within London. Therefore, we thought it would be appropriate to take a look at how this first month has unfolded. Initially there was a lot of uncertainty and concerns about the repercussions that ULEZ could have on businesses, are we already starting to realise these issues?
The zone itself was initially launched on the 8th of April to work alongside the already existing congestion charge, the overall aim being to reduce London’s air quality issues that have been attributed to health issues over recent years. The scale of this has been accounted to thousands of premature deaths every year, as well as increasing the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia. The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year in the central London Congestion Charging (CC) zone. Vehicles entering the zone that do not comply with the standards will have to pay a daily charge, this ranges from £12.50 for cards to £100 for trucks and buses.
So, Early figures have suggested that the ULEZ zone is having the desired effect towards reducing air pollution, according to research 74% of vehicles operating within the zone were compliant meaning that up to 9,400 fewer older vehicles were entering the zone daily. These figures are significant strides forward as a reduction of 26% in non-compliant vehicles is just the beginning for this legislation. The figures also revealed that on average there were around 32,100 non-compliant vehicles detected in the zone for every 24 hour period, around 11,700 of these are not required to pay an ULEZ charge due to exemptions which include residents, taxis, disabled drivers, historic vehicles and certain agricultural/military/construction vehicles.
Alex Williams, Transport for London’s director of city planning, commented on these figures, “Everyone benefits from clean air, which is why it is great to see that so many people have responded to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which has resulted in a reduction in the number of polluting vehicles in the capital. The ULEZ will nearly halve road-based NOx emissions in central London, and in addition to our work to ‘green up’ the bus fleet and encourage the taxi industry to switch to cleaner vehicles, together we will help to tackle this public health crisis.”
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