The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that more small businesses will be able to access the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles ahead of the planned ULEZ expansion on 29 August 2023.
The ULEZ is expanding across all London boroughs and any vehicle driving within the zone that does not meet emissions standards will incur a daily charge of £12.50.
As reported by Logistics Manager earlier this year, a scrappage scheme has been offered by Transport for London (TfL) to some individuals and businesses with vehicles that don’t comply with new standards.
Originally, only businesses with fewer than 10 employees could apply; that has now been extended to 50.
Businesses that take advantage of the scheme will receive a grant of up to £9,500 towards a less pollutive van or retrofitting an existing van to meet emissions standards. Up to £2,000 is also available for car scrappage.
With some 3 billion miles being travelled by light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in London in 2021 (according to DfT data), the ULEZ is sure to impact logistics operations in the city if vehicle fleets are not brought up to scratch.
While smaller businesses may be able to access these grants, larger logistics companies and firms operating out of London will be forced to pay to upgrade their vehicles or face daily fees.
Fortunately, 8 out of 10 vans and 9 out of 10 cars currently being driven in London are already ULEZ-compliant, the DfT says.
Sadiq Khan, explained: “The majority of vehicles in London are already ULEZ-compliant and will not have to pay anything. But I completely understand the concerns of people who may not have a compliant vehicle and are worried about how they’ll make the transition.”
He added: “Expanding the ULEZ was an incredibly difficult decision for me. But with toxic air damaging the health of millions of Londoners and the need to tackle the climate crisis, I believe the cost of inaction would simply be far too high a price to pay.
“The ULEZ has been proven to work, already reducing toxic air pollution by nearly half in central London.
“Expanding it London-wide will help ensure five million more Londoners can breathe cleaner air and our bigger scrappage scheme will mean we can help thousands of families and small businesses make the transition to greener, cleaner vehicles.”