London’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) could be expanded if the Mayor of London’s plans come to fruition. Sadiq Khan has announced he will launch a formal policy consultation in a matter of weeks on a package of measures to tackle air pollution in London. These include extending the ULEZ to the North and South Circular Roads and possibly bringing forward its introduction earlier than 2020. Under current plans the ULEZ will only operate within the Congestion Charging Zone and it is due to come in from 2020. Khan’s proposed changes would see the introduction of ULEZ standards for heavy vehicles go London wide from 2020.
Introducing self imposed ULEZ standards a year earlier for TfL double deckers is planned as part of the package. Implementing clean bus corridors was also proposed. This would involve tackling the worst pollution hotspots by concentrating cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes. The ULEZ retrofit programme would be expanded to 3,000 buses outside the central zone (up from 2,000). It would also see TfL purchase only hybrid or zero emission double deckers from 2018.
The Mayor said, ‘I want to act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to meet the scale of the challenge. I have been elected with a clear mandate to clean up London’s air, our biggest environmental challenge. The previous Mayor was too slow on this issue and the Government has been hopelessly inactive and it’s Londoners who are suffering as a result. We need to speed up our efforts so I’ll be launching a consultation before the summer to kick start the process. As well as my proposals, I’ll be seeking views on other ways we can do more to clean up the city’s air.’