Mayor confirms world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone.

26 March 2015

• £65 million to deliver plans for cleaner taxis, including extra £25m from Government • From 2020, ULEZ will reduce most harmful vehicle exhaust pollutants by more than half • More than 16,000 consultation responses, 79 per cent in favour of improving London’s air quality

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today (Thursday 26 March) confirmed the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and welcomed an increased fund of £65 million to help support London taxi drivers’ transition to zero emission capable taxis.

Following a positive consultation process, the Ultra Low Emission Zone will launch in central London on 7 September 2020, significantly improving air quality and helping to protect the health of Londoners. It will require vehicles travelling in the Congestion Charge Zone of central London to meet new emission standards 24 hours a day, seven days a week or pay a daily charge.

An extra £25 million from Government will be used to provide grants to help taxi drivers cover the cost of upgrading to a greener vehicle. This is in addition to £40 million already committed by the Mayor to assist taxi drivers whose vehicles would be affected by tighter age limits to retire the oldest, most polluting taxis..

The Mayor today joined the Prime Minister at the London Taxi Company factory in Coventry, which has confirmed plans to produce new zero emission capable taxis in the UK. Boris Johnson reiterated his commitment that from January 2018 all new taxis and all private hire vehicles under eighteen months old presented for licensing in the capital for the first time should be zero emission capable.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone is an essential measure to help improve air quality in our city, protect the health of Londoners, and lengthen our lead as the greatest city on earth. With additional funds announced today, more help is on the way for taxi drivers to support their transition to the latest technology in greener cabs. Together we can ensure everyone who lives, works in, or visits our city has the cleanest possible air to breathe.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome this announcement which is a world first and great news for London, helping to enhance the quality of life and creating opportunities for companies who develop and manufacture this kind of technology. This will build on the UK’s strengths in low emission technology and the Government is backing this initiative with £25 million of support.”

Today’s new funds bring the total available to assist the taxi trade’s transition to greener taxis across the city to £65 million.

Also part of today’s announcement, is the £20 million Taxi scheme announced by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in April 2014. Local authorities, including London, can now bid for additional funding to help support the adoption of ultra low emission taxis and mini-cabs. This is in addition to £10 million provided in the National Infrastructure Plan to support a new rapid charging network in London for electric vehicles including taxis.

Business Minister, Matthew Hancock said: “Low emission vehicles are a massively exciting new technology that will suit Londoners down to the ground. These new taxis have got fantastic potential and can be a real force for good within the capital. Londoners have always led the charge on new technology and I have no doubt that the new taxi will find its natural home in the capital. We will continue to champion this new green technology so that our capital is cleaner and we can help ease the commute for more people.”

By 2020, in addition to the ULEZ, Transport for London is committed to ensuring all 300 single decker buses operating in central London are zero emission (e.g. electric), and all 3,000 double deck buses will be hybrid including 800 of the Mayor’s New Routemaster.

In light of the new funds announced today, the Mayor has asked TfL to undertake further engagement with the taxi and private hire trade before finalising his plans to change the licensing requirements for these vehicles. ‎The final package of measures is expected to be confirmed in the summer.

The full ULEZ package is expected to halve emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) from vehicle exhausts in central London. More than 80 per cent of central London would be expected to meet the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual EU legal limits in 2020. The number of people living in areas of poor air quality (where levels of NO2 exceed legal limits) would reduce by 74 per cent in central London, 51 per cent in inner London and 43 per cent in outer London. It will also encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport, and provide a stimulus to the ‘green economy’ in particular the development of ultra low emission technology and vehicles.

Transport for London (TfL) will continue to lobby the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for further funding from its £500 million funding pot to support the uptake of zero emission capable vehicles and put in place supporting charging infrastructure. This includes applying for funding from the new national £20m pot specifically for taxis and private hire vehicles, announced today.

Detailed plans for the new rapid charging network in London, on which TfL is working closely with key stakeholders, including boroughs and taxi and private hire trade organisations, are expected to be published later this year.

Michèle Dix, TfL's Managing Director responsible for ULEZ, said: “London’s air quality has an impact on the health of every person living in this city which is why addressing emissions from road transport is such a priority. The ULEZ is a feasible and effective way to improve air quality not only in central London but it will also have a positive impact across the whole city too. We believe that giving owners of non-compliant vehicles more than five years to prepare means that they have fair warning to decide whether to change their vehicle to one that meets the emissions standards of the zone or pay a daily charge.”

The ULEZ will require: ∙ Cars and small vans – Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from 1 September 2015 so 5 years old or less in 2020) and Euro 4 for petrol engines (registered from 1 January 2006 so 14 years old or less in 2020). Non-compliant vehicles could still drive in the zone but they will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50; ∙ Large vans and minibuses – Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from 1 September 2016 so 4 years old or less in 2020) and Euro 4 for petrol engines (registered from 1 January 2007 so 13 years old or less in 2020). Non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50; ∙ Heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches – Euro VI (registered from 1 January 2014 so 6 years old or less in 2020 except TfL buses which are required to meet a higher standard). Non- compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £100; ∙ Motorcycles and similar vehicles – Euro 3 (registered from 1 July 2007 so 13 years old or less in 2020). Non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50.

The announcement follows careful consideration of over 16,000 responses received during the ULEZ consultation from the public, businesses and stakeholders. Seventy nine per cent of respondents said it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to tackle poor air quality in London and 58 per cent said they ‘support’ or ‘strongly support’ the introduction of the ULEZ.

The Mayor and TfL have intentionally confirmed the emission standards over five years in advance of the introduction of the ULEZ in September 2020 to give sufficient warning and preparation time to affected drivers as well as to accelerate the take up of low emission vehicles and stimulate the low emission vehicle market. Residents living in the Ultra Low Emission Zone will have a three year ‘sunset period’, meaning that they do not need to comply with the emissions standards until September 2023.

Following the consultation, the Mayor today announced that vehicles adapted for disabled people will also have a three year ‘sunset period’, meaning that they do not need to comply with the emissions standards until September 2023. He has also confirmed that vehicles in the 40 year rolling vehicle tax exemption for classic vehicles will be exempt from the ULEZ standards.

ENDS Notes to Editors ∙ The ULEZ public consultation ran from Monday 27 October 2014 to Friday 9 January 2015. TfL received 16,281 responses from the public and businesses, and 123 responses from stakeholders. TfL’s report to the Mayor on the ULEZ public consultation can be viewed at: www.tfl.gov.uk/ultra-low-emission-zone ∙ Motorists who bought a petrol car or small van manufactured after 1 January 2006, or a diesel model after 1 September 2015, will be able to drive in the ULEZ free of charge. The same applies for motorcycles and similar vehicles manufactured after 1 July 2007, large petrol vans and minibuses manufactured after 1 January 2007, their diesel equivalents after 1 September 2016, and HGVs, buses and coaches produced after 1 January 2014. ∙ The additional funding announced today and consultation feedback has led to the Mayor asking TfL to undertake further engagement and consultation with the taxi and private hire trade and other stakeholders before finalising the proposals later this year. The Mayor recognises that taxis are a particularly significant source of emissions in London and that further action will be required to tackle these as part of the ULEZ package. ∙ The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified a number of pollutants as a major public health concern. The two pollutants of principal concern in London are particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). London is now compliant with PM limit values owing to the Low Emission Zone, taxi and private hire vehicle age limits, bus retrofit schemes and the natural turnover of vehicles. However, London is not forecast to meet the legal limits for NO2 until after 2030 – alongside Birmingham and Leeds – unless targeted action is taken. ∙ Since the Mayor was elected, the number of people living in areas exceeding NO2 limits has halved but there is a clear need to take further action. The Greater London Authority (GLA) and TfL estimate that a reduction in road transport emissions of around 70 per cent is needed for central London to meet EU legal limits for NO2 in 2020, with the ULEZ delivering around two-thirds of this. In addition to road transport, buildings and construction activity contribute significantly to London’s air pollution. Further reductions from these sources would also help bring compliance forward. ∙ The full package of ULEZ measures, as consulted on, is projected to achieve a reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from road transport in central London of up to 51 per cent broken down as: TfL buses (74 per cent), taxis (45 per cent), HGVs (48 per cent), non-TfL buses and coaches (50 per cent), cars (42 per cent), vans (38 per cent) and motorcycles (15 per cent). It would also achieve a 64 per cent reduction in PM10 exhaust emissions and a 15 per cent reduction in CO2 from road transport in central London. ∙ NO2 is a gas, which at high enough concentrations can cause inflammation of the airways and long-term exposure can affect lung function and respiratory systems. It can also increase asthma symptoms. NOx is primarily made up of two pollutants, nitric oxide (NO) and NO2 and refers to total vehicle emissions (both those directly emitted and those formed by chemical reactions). Vehicle emissions standards refer to total NOx emissions but EU air quality limit values refer to ambient concentrations and are set for NO2 as this is the harmful component of the emissions. ∙ With the introduction of the full ULEZ package, as consulted on, the number of care homes, hospitals and schools exposed to high levels of NO2 will be halved across London. These positive effects will be especially beneficial to the young, older people and those who have respiratory problems as well as residents of high pollution areas. • A zero emission capable (ZEC) taxi or PHV is considered to be a pure electric or hybrid vehicle capable of running in zero emission (at tailpipe) mode for all or part of the time (maximum 50g/km CO2 and minimum range of 30 miles). This will be confirmed once the final licensing requirements have been agreed. ∙ The ULEZ emission standards will be enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which are already used for the Congestion Charge. If the daily charge has not been paid then a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued. For cars, vans and motorcycles this will be set at £130 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days) and for HGVs, coaches and buses it will be set at £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days) – so in line with the Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone respectively. ∙ Residents of the ULEZ will be granted a three year sunset period (until 6 September 2023) before any daily charge applies. This is to acknowledge that they are unable to avoid the zone and so may require more time (up to eight years) to change their vehicle to meet the ULEZ standards. ∙ The proposals for a ULEZ are one of a raft of measures introduced by the Mayor and TfL to improve air quality in the capital, including:- Tightening the Low Emission Zone standards for HGVs, buses and coaches and introducing new standards for large vans and minibuses – around 150,000 vehicles needed to take action to meet these standards when they came into effect in January 2012;- Reducing emissions by retrofitting more than 1,000 of the oldest buses with special equipment to reduce their NOx emissions by up to 88 per cent – with plans to increase this number to 1,800; - Retiring the remaining 900 oldest Euro III buses in TfL’s fleet and replacing them with super-clean Euro VI buses at a cost of £18m;- Accelerating the roll out of hybrid buses, with 1,700 to be on the road by 2016, including 800 of the iconic New Routemaster buses – equivalent to around 20 per cent of TfL’s bus fleet;- Retiring around 6,000 of the oldest, most polluting taxis by introducing London’s first taxi age limits in 2012;- Introducing new measures to reduce emissions and clean up construction sites, including plans for tough new emissions standards for construction equipment in 2015 and 2020;- Investing almost £1 billion to improve cycling infrastructure and encourage less polluting forms of transport. In February, research by the Medical Research Council suggested the health benefits gained from using the city’s Cycle Hire scheme outweigh the potential negative impacts from injuries and exposure to air pollution;- Using the planning system to require all new development to be “air quality neutral”;- Retrofitting hundreds of thousands of homes and public buildings with energy efficiency measures which reduce their emissions, with 400,000 already complete. ∙ TfL published its Transport Emissions Road Map on 10 September 2014. It looks at how to reduce emissions from transport in London and reports on what TfL has already done and what it may do in the future. It provides a range of possible new measures that the Mayor, TfL, London boroughs, the Government, EU and other parties should consider to help meet the challenge of reducing air pollutants and CO2 emissions in London;