TRANSPORT FOR LONDON has confirmed that the capital will implement its Ultra Low Emission Zone charging scheme 17 months earlier than previously announced.
Following the announcement, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “London’s lethal air is a health crisis.”
The zone had been scheduled to be introduced in September 2020, but it will now be brought forward to April 8 2019.
The ULEZ charges those who drive the most polluting vehicles to enter the centre of London, and covers the same area as the existing congestion zone.
However, the freight industry has hit back at the plans, accusing Khan of “closing London for business” as trucks that do not meet the latest diesel emission standards – introduced in 2014 – will be charged £100 a day to enter the capital.
Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The Mayor and TfL have ignored our advice and will now bring the Central London ULEZ in 17 months early. This flies in the face of common sense, and our consultation response.
“Since the early introduction of the ULEZ was first proposed we have pushed hard for a phased approach that will improve air quality and maintain the economy of London.
“We are concerned that the ULEZ charge will cost many hauliers £100 per day, and that’s in addition to the other charges they already pay. More than half the GB lorry fleet will not be Euro VI when the ULEZ is introduced.
“Bringing the date forward by 17 months is little more than a means of quickly bringing in revenue to cover the Mayor’s other plans for the City.”
Transport for London says the zone is needed because air pollution is affecting the health of all Londoners, with transport accounting for “around half” of harmful emissions.
It says the zone is designed “to promote more walking, cycling, use of public transport and to encourage sustainable freight deliveries”.
Vehicles that don’t meet ULEZ standards from April 8, 2019, will have to pay a charge in addition to the congestion charge.
This stands at £12.50 per day for Euro 3 and older petrol vehicles and Euro 5 and older diesel vehicles, with a fine of £130 for those who do not pay.