Clean air zone launches in London

Busy London road

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has launched in central London, intended to clean up the city's air quality and improve people's health.

Replacing the T-Charge but running alongside the Congestion Charge, the new initiative will require motorists whose vehicles don't meet new emissions standards to pay to enter the ULEZ area (£12.50 a day for cars). Ut will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It's generally owners of older vehicles that will have to pay, as an announcement from the Mayor of London notes that 'petrol vehicles that meet the standard have been widely available since 2006'. ULEZ also affects buses, but 75 per cent of all TfL buses, including all those, operating in the ULEZ zone, now meet or exceed the standards.

The T-charge, announced 'as a stepping stone for the ULEZ' in February 2017, has already had an affect, according to the Mayor's office. Namely, there re around 11,000 fewer vehicles per day in the central London ULEZ zone and a 38 per cent increase in the total number of vehicles that meet the standards.

Now the ULEZ has launched, Londoners should expect to benefit from a 45 per cent fall in nasty NOx road transport emissions.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, comments: "This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation. I simply refuse to be yet another politician who ignores it. The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London's air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.

"This is also about social justice – people in the most deprived parts of London, who are least likely to own a car, suffer the worst effects of harmful air pollution. I will not stand by and watch children grow up with under-developed lungs in our city. The ULEZ is a vital step towards helping combat London's illegal air."

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