Since October 25, the Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) were expanded throughout London, to reduce pollution from vehicle transport. The new ULEZ, which covers a quarter of London and 3.8 million people, will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except on Christmas.

At a time when the world’s major economies are trying to reduce their environmental footprint, London has taken a step forward in establishing new measures, which will prevent high levels of environmental pollution and preserve the city’s air quality.


What does this new measure mean for drivers?

According to the ULEZ, most vehicles that do not meet a specific set of emission standards will have to pay a daily fee of £12.50 ($17.20). Also, the default fee is £160, although it is reduced to £80 if paid in 14 days.

The ULEZ is applied next to the congestion charge area, which is located in central London and costs £15 per day. This area is not expanding at the moment.

The original ULEZ was released in April 2019. According to Transport for London, this has contributed to a 44% fall "in nitrogen dioxide on the road within its limits".


New perspectives for improving the quality of life in London

At a time when the World Health Organization reveals that nearly 4 million people die each year from environmental pollution, London has become one of the cities most concerned with reducing air pollution in most of its spaces. Other cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin have now joined similar initiatives, with fines ranging from €70 to €250 for vehicles that fail to comply with regulations.

According to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, "In central London, the ULEZ has already helped reduce toxic nitrogen dioxide pollution on the roads by almost half and has led to reductions five times higher than the national average.", however, Khan also explains that "pollution is not just a central London problem, so expanding the ULEZ today will benefit Londoners across the city and is a crucial step in London’s ecological recovery from this pandemic".

By the year 2035, the United Kingdom has set itself the goal of permanently eliminating diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles, to introduce new technologies that allow driving without emitting gaseous pollutants.


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