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London’s air quality has improved significantly in recent years and is now considered compliant for all but one air pollutant for which the European Union has set legal limits. This pollutant is nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which has impacts on public health. London is currently in breach of legal limits. An equivalent of 4,300 deaths in London is attributed to air quality related illness. London also faces challenging targets to mitigate the effects of climate change.

This means further action is needed to reduce air pollutant and CO2 emissions from transport to improve quality of life and public health. In recognition of this, the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) have developed a proposal for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, in the same area as the current congestion charge.

The proposed Ultra LEZ would be from 7th September 2020, and the emissions standards would be:

  • Motorcycle, moped etc: Euro 3
  • Car, van and minibus : Euro 4 (petrol, Euro 6 (diesel)
  • Bus, coach and lorry: Euro VI

Those not meeting the standards would be subject to a charge (£12.50 (~16€) light duty, £100 (~130€) heavy duty vehicles).
In addition, the public fleet would have significantly reduced emissions:

  • The TfL public bus fleet: all double deck buses operating in central London will be hybrid and all single deck buses will be zero emission (at source).
  • All newly licensed taxis and new private hire vehicles from 2018 must be able to be zero emission
  • The age limit for all non zero emission capable taxis reduced to 10 years

See our London page for further details of London's LEZ.

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