The London ULEZ zone is expanding in October

London ULEZ Zone is expanding

After seeing the poster above on the underground I thought I’d better check up on London’s ULEZ zone.

The Transport for London website says: “From 25 October 2021, the ULEZ charging zone will expand to include the area up to the North and South Circular roads.”

I think this is going to cause a lot of problems for ordinary Londoners. The minimum standard for petrol cars is Euro 4 which came out in 2006. But the standard for diesel is Euro 6, which came out more recently in Sept 2015. Check your vehicle here.

How the different charges for driving cars and vans in London work

The Congestion Charge

London Congestion Charge map
London Congestion Charge map

This only applies to Central London as shown on the map above. It’s in force from 7am – 10pm 7 days a week (except 25th Dec). At time of writing you pay £15 per day. It costs £100 for lorries, buses and coaches, which I’m not covering here.

In addition if you drive a petrol vehicle older than approx 2006 or a diesel older than approx 2015 you have to pay the Ultra Low Emissions Zone charge of £12.50 a day (for most vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes).

ULEZ zone from 25th October 2021

London Ultra Low Emission Zone map
London Ultra Low Emission Zone map

This expands up to, but not including, the North and South Circular Roads. It applies 24 hours a day. If your vehicle is parked and not driven you don’t pay for that day. If you drive it you pay £12.50, details above. You’d only pay the congestion charge if you enter the central zone. Classic cars registered before 1st Jan 1973 are exempt, as are licensed taxis.

The Transport for London Website says: “We would prefer that you use a vehicle that meets the emissions standards rather than pay a daily charge.” But many people are not in a position to buy a newer car, and scrapping serviceable cars to build new ones is not green! I’ve written elsewhere about the problems of charging electric cars in Bow, and that neither the cars nor the electricity is as green as people are being led to believe.

4 Comments

  1. Very confusing. The ULEZ site says I DON’T have to pay the charge, which infers that I can use my car for free right now. But nothing definite about in three months time. (DON’T sounding immediate, rather than WILL NOT which would infer the situation under the future expansion). As usual, the planners of these schemes have no idea how their short-term thinking will affect ordinary people.

    1. Roy, the other thing you can do is to search online for your cars model to see which Euro emissions number it is.

  2. Totally agree Alan, especially as so many people’s incomes have been affected for last 16 months. I live in the C Zone so lucky to have had not only that discount but the ULEZ ‘sunset’ scheme for older vehicles, but that runs out in October too. A fair solution would be for residents inside whatever zone to continue to have discounts, similar schemes are totally free of course to people who live inside, say Florence, Italy city centre boundaries, but we could never expect that generosity in London could we ?

    1. Thanks Garry. It will cause problems for all the market traders on the Roman Road and at Chrisp Street. These are people skilled at keeping old vans going. Maybe they’ll be forced to pack it in.
      A while ago I read a study about Oxford (I think) which found that the people who would be most affected by restricted car access would be women who acted as unpaid carers. They tended to take children to school, shop at supermarkets on behalf of several households, and drive around during the day performing useful social functions. Banning perfectly useable, economically priced, secondhand cars will affect lots of people.

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