London expands its ULEZ scrappage scheme

  • The Mayor of London has extended the ULEZ scrappage scheme to all Londoners, granting up to £2,000 to replace older polluting cars.
  • The changes also increase the grant for scrapping vans from £5,000 to £7,000.
  • The move should help boost sales of EVs, ebikes, and ICE cars with stricter emissions standards.

All London residents get eligibility

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme, which assists local residents with cash for switching polluting vehicles liable for the ULEZ fee for greener modes of transport, previously had limited eligibility criteria. That’s all about to change however, with the Mayor of London announcing that all London residents will be able to apply for the scheme from the 21st of August. This is possible thanks to another £50m being added to the scheme, raising total funds to £160m.

The move comes after the ULEZ scheme expands at the end of this month, covering all London boroughs and bringing another 5 million residents into the catchment. This move stood out against the national government’s sudden push against green policies over the last week. Commenting on this, Mayor Sadiq Khan said:

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“I’m not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like Ulez, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air but also help us to fight the climate crisis.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

With the new regulations, residents will be able to claim up to £2,000 in credit to scrap non-compliant cars. For vans, the figure is rising from £5,000 to £7,000 for residents and sole traders. The latter group will be able to claim the sum on up to three vans.

That sum for trading non-compliant vehicles can also go towards an ebike instead of another car, to beat the traffic that still plagues the capital. Additionally, businesses may decide to use the grant for scrapping vans for electric cargo bikes instead.

Opposition and Praise

However, concerns have still been raised about the expansion, with Kent County Council’s leader Roger Gough saying that “the announcement reinforces our concern that mitigations are available to London residents but not Kent and other around-London residents who will be hit by Ulez”. He added that the improvement in air quality “must go hand-in-hand with appropriate mitigations, including better availability of public transport”.

On the other hand, London’s ULEZ scheme has been applauded by mayors across the globe, with leaders of Oslo, Montreal, and Milan all expressing their support and inspiration to implement similar plans. Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said that the city is looking at the ULEZ’s details to “help inform part of Milan’s own strategy to protect residents’ health as well as reduce the number of polluting vehicles on our streets”.

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