HomePoliticsUlez expansion: Contested claims examined

Ulez expansion: Contested claims examined

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) in London will now cover the entire city starting from the end of August, following a ruling from the High Court. This decision has sparked opposition from various parties who argue that people need more time to switch to compliant vehicles. The mayor of London announced the Ulez expansion plan in November, giving people nine months’ notice. The previous expansion in 2019 allowed almost two and a half years for preparation. Critics also point out that inflation and a shortage of affordable second-hand cars make it difficult for people to replace their vehicles. However, supporters of Ulez argue that the expansion will greatly improve air quality in the city. Transport for London (TfL) data shows that road transport is responsible for a significant portion of nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM2.5), and CO2 emissions in London. The Ulez is expected to reduce NOx emissions by 5.4% and PM2.5 emissions by 1.5%. Critics claim that the reduction in pollution exposure will be minor, but proponents argue that no level of pollution is safe. London is estimated to have between 3,600 and 4,100 premature deaths each year due to toxic air. Additionally, over 1 million people from outside London will be affected by the Ulez expansion, but there is no financial support available for them to replace their non-compliant vehicles. However, the Ulez scrappage scheme, which has received significant funding, aims to assist Londoners in replacing their vehicles. The scheme provides up to £2,000 for non-compliant cars and offers extra support for small businesses, charities, and disabled individuals.