Vehicles donated by Londoners via Ulez scrappage scheme arrive in Ukraine

Londoners have donated more than 100 vehicles that would have been scrapped because of the Ulez to Ukraine.

More than half have already arrived in the war-ravaged country, including a convoy of 20 vehicles over the weekend. A further 13 are due to arrive by the end of the week.

Under changes to the Ulez scrappage scheme in March, Londoners can receive the same pay-out for getting rid of their non-compliant vehicle if they opt to donate it for humanitarian purposes rather than having it crushed.

The donated vehicles have to be used for humanitarian purposes, to provide medical aid or to evacuate people.

The transfer is being overseen for Transport for London by the British charity British-Ukrainian Aid (BUAid).

Car, vans, minibuses and motorbikes can be donated. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The exchange system was launched on March 15 after London mayor Sadiq Khan received assurances from Government that it would not breach UK laws. Last year he had been urged by the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, to launch the scheme.

Natalia Ravlyuk, a trustee of BUAid, said: “We remain enormously grateful for the support given to us by the Mayors of London and Kyiv, and by our many partners, supporters and donors. Vehicles that would have gone to scrap are saving lives in Ukraine, and we know that every one of them is valued and valuable.”

Andrew, a Londoner who donated his non-compliant vehicle to Ukraine, said: “My dad came to the UK from Ukraine during WW2. When the war broke out, my family and I wanted to help in any way we could, so we got involved with different aid initiatives.

“I was thinking of scrapping my non-compliant car anyway, so not only is donating it great solution to the capital’s environmental issues, it was also a small step I could take to support humanitarian efforts to help Ukraine.”

Anton, a BUAid volunteer who has driven vehicles to the Ukrainian border, said: “I’ve been involved with the charity for over 10 years now and the need to help the people in Ukraine has never been greater.”

However the organisation Aid Ukraine UK has raised multiple concerns about the scheme, claiming that bureaucratic “red tape” has prevented more vehicles being donated.

Most of the £210m available in the Londonwide Ulez scrappage scheme has been allocated.

The London Ambulance Service has donated 10 decommissioned ambulances, with another 40 due by the end of the summer.

Lucy Hayward-Speight, TfL’s head of transport strategy, said: “Londoners are also demonstrating their concern for others by choosing to provide vital aid for those in the most unimaginable circumstances in Ukraine. We would encourage anyone eligible to donate their vehicle if they can.”