Central London ultra low emission zone goes live

Drivers in central London must now pay a daily charge unless their vehicles meet tough emissions standards, the Government has announced. The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) – the world's first – covers the same area as the Congestion Charge Zone and is in force 24 hours a day, all year round.

Drivers can find out if their vehicles are exempt from the charge – £12.50 for cars, vans and motorbikes, and £100 for heavier vehicles – using Transport for London's online vehicle checker.

Motorists will not have to pay if they drive petrol vehicles that meet Euro 4, generally registered after 2005, or diesel vehicles that meet Euro 6, generally registered after 2015.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation.

"The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London's air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us."

The new charge is in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge, which is in force from 7am to 6pm on weekdays.

Road signs indicate every ULEZ entry point, or drivers can use Transport for London's postcode checker.

The ULEZ replaces the T-charge, which was introduced in 2017 as a stepping stone to the ULEZ and has led to a reduction of around 11,000 vehicles per day in central London.

The ULEZ is one of a package of measures aimed at cutting air pollution, which is estimated to cost London up to £3.7 billion per year, cause thousands of premature deaths, and increase the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia.

Some 75% of all TFL buses now meet or exceed the emission standards, including all buses running in the ULEZ.

Further changes are on the cards: the ULEZ will extend in 2021 up to the North and South Circular Roads, and all buses will be expected to meet the emission standards by 2020.

Further details, including exemptions, discounts and penalty charges, are available at Transport for London.

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