HGVs will pay London’s current LEZ charges under extended ULEZ scheme

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The Mayor of London has confirmed the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from the end of August 2023. HGVs will still have to meet the same LEZ standards or pay the same LEZ charges as today, confirmed the Mayor's office.

HGVs will pay London’s current LEZ charges under extended ULEZ scheme
Photo credits @ london.gov.uk

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced at the end of last week that he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) London-wide to “tackle the triple threats of air pollution, climate emergency and congestion”, although a public consultation found 80% of people in the affected areas had opposed the expansion of the zone.

The expansion will come into effect on Tuesday 29 August 2023 and will operate across all London boroughs up to the existing Low Emission Zone boundary.

Who needs to pay the ULEZ charge?

If a vehicle doesn’t meet the ULEZ emission standards and isn’t exempt, operators need to pay a daily charge to drive inside the zone.

This applies to cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes).

The ULEZ standards are:

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles

Lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge. They will need to pay the LEZ charge if they do not meet the LEZ emissions standard.

LEZ standards apply for the following HGVs, lorries, vans, buses/minibuses, coaches and specialist heavy vehicles:

  • Lorry, van or specialist heavy vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW)
  • Bus/minibus or coach over 5 tonnes GVW

Minimum emission standard: Euro VI (NOx and PM) 

LEZ standards apply for the following vans, minibuses and specialist diesel vehicles:

  • van or specialist diesel vehicle from 1.205 tonnes unladen weight up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight 
  • minibus up to 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight

Minimum emission standard: Euro 3 (PM) 

How much is the ULEZ charge?

The daily charge for vehicles not meeting the standard will be  £12.50.

The LEZ daily charges for HGVs and LGVs are:

  • £100 for vans or specialist diesel vehicles (over 1.205 tonnes unladen weight up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) or minibuses (up to 5 tonnes) which do not meet Euro 3 standards.
  • £100 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes as well as buses/minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards, but meet Euro IV (PM)
  • £300 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes as well as buses/minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro IV (PM)

Which part of London will be under the ULEZ ?

It will operate London-wide across all London boroughs, up to the current Low Emission Zone (LEZ) boundary.

Why will the ULEZ be expanded?

Expanding ULEZ London-wide will save 27,000 tonnes of CO2 in outer London, nearly double that which the central London ULEZ achieved in its first year of operation, the office of the Mayor of London adds.

Amongst other improvements, the expansion is forecast to make further progress to reduce air pollution, by reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from cars and vans in outer London by 10 and 7 per cent respectively, and reducing PM2.5 car exhaust emissions in outer London by nearly 16 per cent, benefitting five million outer London residents.

“The ULEZ is a very targeted scheme to get the most polluting vehicles off the road.  Compliance within the current ULEZ area is now at 94 per cent, much higher than the 39 percent when ULEZ was first announced in 2017, and also higher than 85 per cent the month before previous expansion, and compliance in outer London is already around 85 per cent. This means that most drivers in outer London will not be impacted by the expansion London-wide,” the announcement reads.

The announcement follows a public consultation which ran between May and July 2022, in which 59 per cent of respondents agreed that more needed to be done to tackle toxic air. A representative YouGov poll commissioned by City Hall also revealed nearly twice as many Londoners believe the Mayor’s proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone should go ahead than oppose it.

Sadiq has also announced a £110m scrappage scheme to support Londoners on lower incomes, disabled Londoners, charities, and small businesses and sole traders.

Successful scrappage applicants will receive a grant to scrap or – for the first time – retrofit their vehicle for certain vans and minibuses. Successful car owners can opt to receive a smaller grant accompanied by up to two free annual bus and tram passes, which would give them a higher financial package.

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