On the eve of the Lo-City Alexandra Palace show, the Mayor of London confirmed (Friday Nov 3rd) plans for the next major stage of his hard-hitting measures to help tackle London’s lethal air pollution and dramatically reduce harmful emissions with the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London from 8th April 2019.

From April 2019 the ULEZ will replace the T-Charge, which was introduced last month, and operate in the same area, alongside the congestion charge but (unlike the T-Charge and Congestion Charge, which are only in place on weekdays) it will operate 24 hours a days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  There will be two ULEZ charge levels: £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches.  These charges will  be in addition to the Congestion Charge (C-Charge), so the most-polluting cars and vans would pay £24 per day and lorries would pay £115.50 during C-Charge hours. All revenue raised will be used by Transport for London to help maintain a greener transport fleet and reduce pollution across the transport network.

The minimum standards for the ULEZ are Euro 6 for diesel vehicles, Euro 4 for petrol vehicles, and Euro 3 for motorbikes and quadricycles. Drivers of vehicles that do not meet the minimum standard will have to take action or pay. Most diesel cars that are four years old or newer will meet the requirement in 2019 when the scheme comes into force, making the ULEZ the tightest emission standard in the world.

As well as bringing in the ULEZ a year earlier than previously planned, the Mayor has expanded the standards to include particulate matter after recent health data revealed that every part of London exceeds World Health Organization recommended air quality guidelines for PM2.5.  He has also decided that TfL buses should meet the same Euro VI requirement as other heavy vehicles and private buses from April 2019.

Road transport emissions in central London are expected to reduce by an additional 20 per cent in 2019 as a result of the early introduction of the ULEZ. This includes:

  • NOx emissions from HGVs are expected to reduce by nearly 50 per cent
  • Coach and non-TfL bus emissions will reduce by over a third.
  • Emissions from cars and vans are expected to reduce by eight and 12 per cent respectively (it should be noted that while the reduction in emissions is smaller than for larger vehicles, their savings make up nearly one third of the emissions reductions in central London).
  • More than 30,000 people in central London (a 40 per cent reduction), and 100,000 people across London, will no longer live in areas exceeding the NO2 limits.
  • 19 schools in central London and 42 schools across London will no longer be in areas exceeding legal limits in 2019 as a result.
  • The ULEZ benefits should be even greater by 2020 with an estimated 45 per cent reduction in road transport emissions.


More than 18,000 Londoners responded to the Mayor’s public consultation on ULEZ, with 63 per cent (11,383) supporting earlier implementation. Please visit the TfL consultation portal to view the results in full.  The ULEZ and T-Charge are just some of the ambitious, hard-hitting measures the Mayor is introducing to improve London’s toxic air quality – he is developing proposals for a London-wide Euro VI standard for buses, coaches and lorries in 2020. The Mayor has also called on the Government to put in place a national vehicle scrappage scheme to help people replace vehicles affected by the proposals or switch to cleaner alternatives. There was overwhelming support for this in the first round of his consultation. He also wants fiscal incentives, like vehicle excise duty, to be reformed so they support his proposals and encourage people to own and use the cleanest vehicles.