TfL launches Ultra Low Emissions Zone consultation

TfL has launched a public consultation on its plans to create an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London. Air pollution is a major killer in London and the capital has regularly failed to meet European air quality standards, so drastic action is required. 

A ULEZ would be similar similar to the Congestion Charge zone, requiring non-compliant vehicles passing through it to pay for the privilege. It would require taxis and buses to become zero-emission. TfL explains:

The ULEZ would take effect from 7 September 2020, and apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is proposed the ULEZ standards would be based on ‘Euro standards’, these are also used in the Londonwide LEZ. These are European standards that define the limits for exhaust emissions for new vehicles sold in EU member states.

To check the required standards and have your say, click here, but as ever with TfL's consultations, BC's overwhelming feeling is "yes, very good, hurry up.".

19 comments:

Chris Wheal said...

Is it not a scam to force us to ditch old, well-maintained, easy to repair vehicles for new, expensive, only-repairable-computer short-life-expectancy plastic tosh. Low emissions in London but overall worse environmental impact because the expensive new vehicles will not last and will need to be disposed of after only a few years/miles?

Brockley Nick said...

How often do you drive your Austin Allegro into zone 1?

Chris Wheal said...

1991 Honda Africa Twin motorbikes. One has done 70,000 miles, the other 100,000. Built to last, lovingly cares for.

pinelove said...

If you are an able bodied person, there's absolutely no reason to drive a car into central London.

Sew247 said...

Once they've got rid of all those dirt-bag diesel buses and taxis I'd be more than happy to consider a ULEZ!!!!!

terrencetrentderby said...

Yes there is. There is free parking everywhere on Sunday.

terrencetrentderby said...

It is amazing how black cabs have got away with it for so long. I use Uber, the Somalian that picked me up the other day rocked up in a Toyota Prious.

terrencetrentderby said...

*Prius even. To add his choice of music was questionable though.

Headhunter said...

I see what you mean but the problem is that most people who own old banger cars which are apparently easy to maintain, don't maintain them as it's financially pointless. These old vehicles are massively less efficient and more polluting than the modern "plastic tosh"....

Headhunter said...

Fully support this, I'm sick of breathing pollution belched out by selfish people driving their inefficient vehicles in central London, taking up a disproportionate amount of space on the roads and doing more damage to road surfaces which we have all paid for through our taxes.


I keep reading that air quality in central London is actually worse than it was before the clean air act in the 1950s when we had "peasoupers". The difference is that in those days pollution was mainly a result of coal fires which was very visible but these days it's all nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide etc from cars, taxis, buses, lorries etc and as it's not visible, people don't think much about it.


The Evening Standard reported yesterday that 4 days into 2015, Oxford Street had already breached EU safe pollution limits - 4 DAYS in to the year of an ANNUAL safe limit!!

Chris Wheal said...

really? I had to buy a van recently and made sure it was new enough to have inside the low emission zone. Itw as the 2007 Van of the year, apparently. It does about 22mpg. just about town that is just over 18mpg. It is diesel too, rather than petrol like my old vans were.

The green crowd told everyone to switch from petrol to diesel so legislators enforced it. Now they are back-pedalling.

If you only cycle, you rely on someone in a van delivering your bike spares to the bike shop and your food to your local organic cooperatively owned food store.

Headhunter said...

You sound like someone who is happy maintaining his vehicles but I doubt the average punter maintains his or her old jalopy to the same level.


I'm aware that a few years ago diesel was seen as the great saviour. I think even then the argument was that a WELL MAINTAINED diesel is better than petrol. The problem is that most diesels aren't well maintained.


I understand that even if I ride a bike, I need commercial vehicles to deliver things and that we can't do away with motor vehicles in Central London altogether, I just agree that we need to focus our attention as much as possible on getting pollution levels down. As per the TFL document, pollution kills more than 4000 people per year yet this gets brushed aside and people spend more time thinking about the impact of certain diseases on life expectancy, cost to the NHS etc

Newby said...

Leaving aside pollution I can never understand why so many people commute by car into central London. I run home from the City a few nights a week and I will often pass a distinctive car on Tower Bridge which will not over take me at any point through Bermondsy and down Jamaica Rd to Deptford. I would in no way be classed as a fast runner either. People must waste weeks of their lives sat in traffic. OK the trains can be a pain but more painful than sitting in endless jams?

terrencetrentderby said...

Maybe they are disabled and have no other way of getting into town for work? There are a couple in my office who drive in and have reserved parking.

Headhunter said...

When I cycle to and from work I spend the entire route passing people sitting in cars. I used to run from the City to Islington and I remember regularly keeping up with or passing the traffic....

Headhunter said...

What all of them? I doubt it... Some of them are just lazy b*ggers...

Mark said...

60,000 people die each year caused by air pollution; more than smoking.

Matt-Z said...

TfL of course have to lead by example, hence the bus fleet pledge.In fact this was already largely planned - it won't be a massive stretch for all (new) double deckers to be hybrid and zero emissions capable (note capable - they will still be allowed to run on their diesel/petrol engines). The single decker services in central London are few and far between and already something of a proving ground for new technologies (e.g. see the hydrogen buses operating the RV1 route). The changes for private vehicles will annoy many motorists - buy a brand new diesel car today and it probably won't be compliant come 2020 - but they will adapt or pay, as they did with CO2-based VED and the Congestion Charge.

Perhaps the biggest impact will be felt by the taxi industry. Although most popular with cabbies, tourists and many Londoners, the TX4 London cab made by LTC / Geeley is dated technology from the wheels up, and currently has no hybrid options at all. It's uncertain as to whether any replacement will be available or ready in time. The Mercedes Vito is a much more modern vehicle but again not yet available as a hybrid, and doesn't have much to make it stand out from the crowd. The planned (and dog-ugly) Nissan London Taxi has been pulled before launch as it wouldn't have met the emissions standards. This leaves the door wide open for the new Metrocab which is purpose-built hybrid electric and ticks all the boxes for the ULEZ - expect to see lots hit the streets in the next few years.

josh said...

Sorry my 1999 2.8lt bmw is more efficient and less poluting according to my mot fumes results than a toyata prius thing at £25 grand so its still cheaper than public transport to drive into lonodon from brockley and pay the cc for the next 20 years at 15 journeys ayear

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