Mayor urges motorists to check their vehicles meet tough new emissions standards before central London Ultra Low Emission Zone launch

Monday 7th January 2019

  • Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will significantly reduce emissions to help tackle the thousands of premature deaths linked to air quality every year
  • 1.5m drivers have already checked their vehicle’s compliance with ULEZ emissions standards at:
  • Major awareness campaign underway to ensure drivers are ready for ULEZ

With three months to go until the launch of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the central London Congestion Charge Zone, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged London’s drivers and business owners who drive in the zone to check whether their vehicles comply with new, stricter emissions standards designed to tackle the capital’s toxic air.

The world’s first ULEZ will come into effect in the current central London Congestion Charge Zone on 8th April 2019 and will replace the current Toxicity Charge*. Vehicles will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge (£12.50 for cars, vans and motorcycles, £100 for busses, coaches and lorries) to travel within the zone. The Congestion Charge will be unchanged by the introduction of ULEZ and will continue to apply for all eligible vehicles entering the Congestion Charge zone.

Drivers can use TFL’s simple online checking tool to see if their vehicle will meet ULEZ’s tough, new emissions standards.

Across the country, toxic air leads to 40,000 premature deaths every year, and increases the risk of asthma, cancer, dementia – imposing a financial burden of £20 billion on the economy every year. London’s filthy air makes chronic illnesses worse, shortens life expectancy and damages lung development in children

The introduction of ULEZ is a central part of the Mayor’s far-reaching plan to tackle London’s toxic air and address the severe health impact of poor air quality. The Mayor has already started projects to clean up the capital’s bus and taxi fleets, roll out rapid charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles, delivered improvements to some of London’s most polluted schools, planted thousands of new trees and funded a scrappage scheme to help micro-businesses prepare for ULEZ.

A major awareness campaign is underway by Transport for London (TfL) to ensure drivers are prepared for the introduction of ULEZ. This includes contacting more than 2.5 million registered Congestion Charge users whose vehicles do not meet the ULEZ standards, to remind them the new zone begins on 8 April 2019. TfL is also contacting other drivers it identifies in central London whose vehicles are not currently ULEZ-compliant. This has helped encourage 1.5 million visits to TfL’s online compliance checker so far.

More than 300 ULEZ warning signs are currently being installed across central London. The signs warn drivers at all entry points to the zone, and on a number of key approach routes, to ensure their vehicle meets the tough new emission standards. These are complemented by posters and digital banners across the whole TfL network, a social media campaign and adverts across print, radio and online video. To date, 3,000 businesses have been spoken to by TfL officials to make them aware of the introduction of ULEZ. Many of these businesses have confirmed that they are already ULEZ compliant or are putting in place plans to upgrade their vehicles.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“London’s toxic air is a public health emergency and the introduction of ULEZ is exactly the sort of bold action that is required to deal with it. I’m delighted we were able to bring the introduction of the zone forward to April this year, ensuring people both in and outside the zone experience the benefits of ULEZ sooner.

“I know Londoners are passionate about improving the quality of the air they breathe so – with only three months to go before the launch of ULEZ – I’d encourage everyone who drives within central London to spend a couple of minutes checking whether their vehicle complies with the new emissions standards.

“A predicted 45 per cent fall in harmful emissions within the zone should be a great start to improving the lives of millions of Londoners.”

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL, said:

“We are committed to tackling London’s dangerously toxic air. The introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will bring huge benefits to the health of all Londoners, including drivers.

“With three months until ULEZ starts, we are reminding all drivers in London to take action and check their vehicles’ compliance through our website. Londoners can choose a wide range of affordable and sustainable public transport options, including buses fitted with the cleanest engines, cycling and walking. Alternatively, a ULEZ compliant vehicle can be purchased from around £500.”


Sonia Farrey, Director of Advocacy at Unicef UK, said:

“Breathing polluted air can have serious and long-lasting effects on a child’s health and development. It is all of our responsibility to ensure that children can grow up in a clean and safe environment.

“With more than 800 schools, nurseries and educational institutions across London situated in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, the Ultra Low Emission Zone presents a real opportunity to help protect children from this threat to their health.”

CBI London Director, Eddie Curzon, said:

“Improving the capital’s air quality is of real importance to London’s business community, and firms across the city stand ready to help achieve this.

“The Mayor of London’s ULEZ standards are a decisive step and TfL’s ongoing support for businesses will be essential in ensuring compliance. Looking ahead, the CBI continues to welcome any action taken to secure a consistent national clean air policy.’


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