London prepares for launch of ultra-low emissions zone

(The Guardian, 6 Apr 2019) Almost 1,000 people a year in London are hospitalised with asthma caused by pollution.

London is preparing to enforce “world-leading” vehicle pollution restrictions from Monday as the capital attempts to clean up the toxic air blamed for thousands of premature deaths.

The ultra-low emission zone, or Ulez, will launch at one minute past midnight on April 8, imposing a £12.50-a-day charge to drive into central London in all but the cleanest cars and vans.

The move is expected to reduce road transport emissions by around 45%. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, unveiled research showing that almost 1,000 people a year in the city were hospitalised with asthma caused by pollution.

The charge will be levied inside London’s congestion charge zone around the clock, and motorists driving polluting cars during the daytime will have to pay both charges, meaning it will cost £24 to take such vehicles into central London between 7am and 6pm.

It will apply to drivers of diesel cars and vans whose engines are not certified to the latest Euro 6 standard, mandated from 2015, as well as most petrol cars more than 14 years old. Non-compliant buses, coaches and lorries will have to pay £100.

The charge will be enforced using number-plate recognition and the DVLA database, which includes every vehicle’s emission standards.

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The Guardian, 6 Apr 2019: London prepares for launch of ultra-low emissions zone