Ah, the ULEZ. The Ultra Low Emission Zone, which caused mild panic when it was first announced, but is also perhaps not as bad as first glance made it seem. It's controversial, yes. And scattergun-like in its targeting. But anyone arguing that a traffic ridden city centre such as London's isn't metaphorically screaming out for bit less pollution obviously hasn't visited recently.
The ULEZ was introduced yesterday - April 8th 2019 - and operates in the current congestion charge zone (so you'll have to pay two charges if your vehicle doesn't meet the ULEZ emission standards), and will cost you £12.50 per day for most vehicles (motorcycles, cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes), or £100 a day for lorries (over 3.5 tonnes), buses and coaches (over 5 tonnes). However, if your car meets the Euro 4 standard for petrol and Euro 6 standard for diesel, you don't have to worry about the ULEZ. The same applies for motorcycles if they meet the Euro 3 standards.
Broadly speaking - and as a Londoner - this is good news for most of us. Less pollution in the city benefits everyone. However, as you might expect from a plan which produces money first and foremost, there has been some significant opposition to the ULEZ, not least from those who run or represent small businesses. Specialist vehicles are vital to some small businesses, so the £100 a day charge could be crippling.
There are also plans to extend the ULEZ in 2021, with it expanding to the North and South Circular roads. The claimed benefits of this is that approximately 100,000 people will no longer live in areas exceeding legal pollution limits, a 71% reduction in schools situated in high pollution areas, a 28% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions in outer London (road transport emissions only) and a 31% reduction in nitrogen oxide road transport emissions in inner London.
Do the current changes effect you? Are you a small business worried about meeting the demanding standards? As you can imagine, the discussion going on in the forums is already substantial. Dive in here.