ULEZ scrappage scheme is ‘good example’ as drivers can access EVs

Sadiq Khan grilled on popularity of ULEZ scheme

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The Ultra Low Emission Zone scrappage scheme was formally launched yesterday, January 30, with £110million being made available for drivers to upgrade to cleaner vehicles. Eligible applicants could receive a payment to scrap their vehicle, or choose a lower payment plus one or two TfL Annual Bus and Tram passes worth more than the payment alone.

Petrol vehicles registered after 2006 and diesel vans registered since 2016 will evade the charge, under which drivers must pay £12.50 a day to enter the zone. 

It is expected that thousands of extra drivers will now be forced to pay the charge to drive in the capital and the surrounding areas, much to the anger of some motorists.

Eligible applicants can get up to £2,000 for scrapping a car or up to £1,000 for scrapping a motorcycle. 

For wheelchair accessible vehicles that don’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards, there is a grant of £5,000 to scrap, or retrofit to ULEZ regulations.

The car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is open to applicants living in London and receiving one or more of a list of benefits.

This includes Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and a number of others.

Oliver Lord, UK head of Clean Cities Campaign, commented on the launch of the scrappage scheme, saying it was a good system for drivers to access cleaner, CAZ-compliant vehicles.

He added: “Public health policy like the London ULEZ will almost always put demands on people to break their habits or to do things differently, which by its nature will have an impact on lifestyles and businesses. 

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“The important thing is for policymakers to strike a balance between the overall health benefits this will deliver and the disruption it will cause. 

“The Mayor’s scrappage scheme is one good example of this and I hope there are mechanisms available to keep it topped up if demand is high.”

The London ULEZ is one of more than 500 Low Emission Zones that are expected to be seen across Europe by 2025.

To apply, the vehicle must also have valid road tax, MOT and insurance and have been registered to an eligible registered keeper for more than 12 months prior to January 30, 2023, when the scheme launches. 

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Earlier this month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a high pollution alert for those in the capital, following moderate rates in the preceding days.

The continuing cold, still and foggy conditions in London resulted in poor dispersion of vehicle emissions.

Schools and boroughs will be notified of the alert and messages will be displayed across the TfL network. 

Mr Khan, who has been Mayor since 2016, said the high pollution alert showed why it was vital for the ULEZ to expand London-wide to reduce toxic air pollution.

He added: “We know how dangerous toxic air is for Londoners – that’s why I’m doing everything in my power to tackle it. 

“We all need to be careful over the next few days. I’m urging Londoners to look after each other by choosing to walk, cycle or take public transport where possible, avoiding unnecessary car journeys, stopping engine idling and not burning garden waste, all of which contribute to high levels of pollution. 

“This is particularly important in order to protect those who are more vulnerable to high pollution.”

The Government released its Environmental Improvement Plan earlier today, which will improve the way air quality information is communicated to the public.

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