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What could happen to ULEZ after the next Mayor of London elections?

By Jack Evans | April 23, 2024

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London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone - or ULEZ - has been one of the most controversial schemes of its kind introduced in the UK

What could happen to ULEZ after the next Mayor of London elections?

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone - or ULEZ - has been one of the most controversial schemes of its kind introduced in the UK. Affecting thousands of drivers both inside and outside the capital, it’s a setup which has caused a lot of drivers to revaluate the type of cars they drive.

It has also been subject to numerous expansions over time. However, with an upcoming election for the role of London mayor, there could be some changes to ULEZ on the horizon. Let’s see what could be in store.

Sadiq Khan

The current London mayor Sadiq Khan has been one of the driving forces behind the ULEZ. However, Khan has ‘categorically ruled out’ any further expansions to the scheme should he be re-appointed as mayor, which will no doubt come as a relief to those drivers who currently live just outside the current zone’s limits. 

In a letter to London’s transport commissioner Andy Lord, Khan said: “The introduction and expansion of the Ulez has been necessary and effective. But now it’s in place and working, I will ensure the goalposts are not moved for drivers.”

Khan also ruled out a talked-about ‘pay-per-mile’ scheme which would see drivers charged depending on the number of miles they cover. In the same letter, Khan said: “But my commitment to Londoners is this will not include a new pay-per-mile road user charging scheme or amending the standards for the Ulez scheme.”

Susan Hall, the Conservative mayoral candidate, said: “Sadiq Khan said he wouldn’t expand Ulez at the last election, then went ahead and did the opposite.

Susan Hall

Susan Hall is the Conservative mayoral candidate and has entered the running with a number of pledges which tie in with her ‘listen to Londoners’ campaign. 

She also puts a large emphasis on the ULEZ and what she deems as its ‘unfair’ expansion. In fact, one of her headline manifesto pledges is the removal of the recent ULEZ expansion in its entirety, with Transport for London ‘ordered to cease enforcement’ of the expanded zone on her first day of office. 

Hall has also pledged to ‘end the war on motorists’ by helping areas to ‘remove unwanted Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) while taking away 20mph zones ‘where safe to do so’.

Rob Blackie

Rob Blackie is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London and while much of his party’s policies revolve around improvements for the Met Police, there are a number of crucial changes outlined when it comes to ULEZ and transportation in general. 

Blackie says that the Liberal Democrats will amend the ULEZ scrappage scheme ‘to allow retrospective applications for funding’ alongside ‘exploring options to for providing finance to tradespeople who struggle to replace their vehicles’. At present, the London scrappage scheme allows residents of the capital to apply for up to £2,000 for their scrapped vehicle, while drivers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles could get up to £10,000. There’s also a £6,000 payment there for drivers who want to retrofit their vehicles to ULEZ standard. 

The grant is also open to small businesses (under 50 employees), micro-businesses (with up to 10 employees), sole traders and registered charities which want to scrap their van or minibus, with payments ranging from £6,000 to £11,500. 

There is nothing mentioned in the manifesto about amendments to the ULEZ’s area of coverage, nor the idea of scrapping it entirely. 

Zoe Garbett

The Green Party’s Zoe Garbett has some new policies which would be introduced should she be elected to the role of mayor. In fact, as a way of funding more affordable public transport the Green Party would look to replace the current ULEZ scheme with a ‘smarter, fairer road-pricing plan’ which ‘will see cleaner vehicles on our roads’. It says that this move would ‘protect drivers’ data privacy and reduce distances driven’. 

Garbett would also look to help small businesses with employees that need ULEZ-compliant vehicles by ‘promoting car share schemes and scrappage’. 

Not sure whether your vehicle is ULEZ compliant? Check your vehicle's ULEZ status here.

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