In less than two weeks’ time, the Ulez becomes the Ulex. If you have no idea what that means and drive an older diesel or petrol car, read on.
From October 25, the existing Ultra Low Emission Zone is expanding to create a larger district comprising of the area within the North and South Circular Roads. Vehicles will either have to meet Ulez emissions standards or pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive within the zone.
To help Londoners prepare for this change, the Mayor developed a scrappage scheme. However, as we report in today’s paper, thousands of drivers have had their applications delayed or rejected.
Some of these will be because the cars do not meet eligibility criteria. But others have been a result of clear mishandling. One motorist who had a request to scrap their 2004 diesel car rejected five times only had it approved yesterday, hours after the Standard raised the case directly with Transport for London. We were pleased to help but cannot do this for every case.
We support policies to help improve our city’s air quality. What needs to accompany these is help for Londoners to make more environmentally-friendly decisions. Not only functioning scrappage schemes, but also more rapid-charging electric vehicle infrastructure as well as more reliable public transport alternatives, especially for those living or working in outer zones of the capital captured by the Ulez extension.
We all stand to gain from cleaner air but we must ensure the right support is in place to make that transition as smooth as possible.