Sadiq Khan hails report into ULEZ expansion despite thousands facing daily fines

  • Watch Kaf Okpattah's report here

Sadiq Khan has declared his controversial clean air zone a success after new a report revealed 95% of all vehicles in London meet modern emissions standards.

The mayor said analysis of the first month of the extended Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) extension demonstrated the policy "was working".

But the figures from Transport for London (TfL) also showed around 93,700 vehicles a day fail to meet ULEZ standards - 80,000 of them in the extended zone.

Around 60,000 vehicle owners a day are paying the £12.50 fee for entering London’s expanded ULEZ Zone, new figures show.

When the ULEZ was first introduced on April 8, 2019, it only covered the same area as the central London Congestion Charge zone.

Non-compliant cars and vans must pay a daily £12.50 charge or face a fine of up to £180. 

TfL said 57,200 drivers in London paid the daily charge in September, raising an estimated £715,000 a day.

Around a third of ‘non-compliant’ vehicles were exempt from the toll, including drivers on disability benefits.

TfL began issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) on September 26 after a "grace period", when it sent out warning letters instead.

Around 2,700 drivers a day have been fined.

The ULEZ was expanded on August 29 to include all 32 London boroughs. 

TfL claimed the number of ULEZ compliant vehicles in London had increased 10% since June.

Sadiq Khan said: "London is now home to the world's largest clean air zone and this new data shows 95% of vehicles seen driving in London on an average day now comply with our air quality standards - a 10 percentage point increase since I began to consult on the ULEZ expansion in May 2022."

He added: "This will make a huge difference to the lives and health of Londoners."

The report does not give figures into how air pollution levels have been affected. TfL said data showing the impact of the ULEZ extension on air quality would not be available for another six months.

Conservative Party candidate for Mayor of London said the report: "proves once again that Sadiq Khan's ULEZ expansion is nothing but a tax grab. 

“To take over £52 million from hardworking people, with no gain to air quality described anywhere in this report, shows how little he cares for Londoners. 

“It is those on the lowest incomes who are suffering most from this disastrous charge. As Mayor, I will scrap the ULEZ expansion on day one."

The ULEZ, covering 1,500 square kilometres, is said to be the largest clean air zone in the world.

Opposition to the ULEZ expansion saw hundreds of the 3,500 enforcement cameras vandalised or stolen. Many of them were attacked by a shadowy group calling itself the "blade runners".

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