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What to Know About The Ultra Low Emission Zone Expansion

Jack Dreyer | Tuesday 4th January 2022 4:04pm

Ultra low emission zone sign in London

In a bid to clean up the pollution in London, the LEZ (Low Emission Zone) was launched in Greater London in 2008 and has been successfully in operation ever since. The Ultra prefix was only added in 2019 and covers a denser, more central area.

On the 25th of October of last year (2021), the ULEZ expanded to nearly 18 times its original size and has since caused quite a stir.

Read on to find out more about the recent expansion of Londonís Ultra Low Emission Zone and how it is helping the nationís capital cut down on pollution through a series of frequently asked questions.

What is the ULEZ?

As a concentrated expansion of the Low Emission Zone, ULEZ was launched. ULEZ is a regulation that aims to control the number of emissions from vehicles in the innermost parts of London where congestion is the worst.

Taking the form of a daily charge on vehicles with more than a certain amount of emissions, the ULEZ is a fee that must be paid each day to drive through the area it covers.

Why has the ULEZ expanded?

The aim of the ULEZ is to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions by 30% across London and, while the original zone ended up reducing roadside levels by 44%, other areas of the city still exceeded legal pollution limits so needed higher enforcement levels.

Which areas does the ULEZ expansion include?

The previous ULEZ covered all London areas inside the North Circular A406 road and the South Circular A205. While the roads themselves do not count, everything inside them does. Since October 2021ís expansion of the ULEZ, it now covers 140 miles of London, including thousands of vehicles.

Since expanding, the ULEZ now reaches beyond the City of London and Westminster into the central boroughs of Camden, Haringey, Hackney, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, and Hammersmith & Fulham entirely.

Aside from this, Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Richmond, Ealing, Enfield, Hounslow, Bren, Barnet, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and Greenwich are also covered partly by the ULEZ. You can use this postcode checker to see if your place of residence or travel destination falls inside the new ULEZ.

When is the ULEZ in operation?

Since its inauguration, the Ultra Low Emission Zone is in action 24/7. Since it functions like a law, or a toll (like the Dartford Crossing Toll), the ULEZ is always imposed 365 days a year and applies to pretty much all vehicle types. There are, however, certain ULEZ exemptions.

What are the ULEZ charges?

Though the ULEZ has expanded, the charges are still the same. If your vehicle does not meet the emissions standards, you will be faced with a fee to pay ó even if you live inside the ULEZ zone. For most vehicles (cars, motorbikes, vans, specialist vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses up to and including 5 tonnes) this is around £12.50 per day.

Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes like lorries and vans, as well as minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes, will need to pay £100. Aside from this, the pre-existing Congestion Charge also applies and recently rose from £11.50 to £15.

For more information on the new ULEZ expansion, head over to the Transport for Londonís website. In the meantime, if youíre concerned about the emissions or quality of your vehicle, get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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