Sadiq Khan unveils new plans to send 'old polluting' vehicles from Ulez scrappage scheme to Ukraine

Sadiq Khan unveils new plans to send 'old polluting' vehicles from Ulez scrappage scheme to Ukraine

WATCH: Susan Hall on Sadiq Khan's Ulez expansion

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 23/02/2024

- 09:00

Updated: 15/03/2024

- 11:26

'This initiative can benefit Ukraine and London greatly'

Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed that Transport for London will amend its Ulez scrappage scheme plans to donate non-compliant vehicles to Ukraine.

The Labour Mayor has asked TfL to make the move after Transport Secretary Mark Harper said there was “no legal barrier” in sending cars to the Eastern European nation.

The topic was first raised in December when Khan asked Harper to allow 4x4s and other suitable vehicles to be moved to Ukraine rather than being scrapped.

Under these plans, the drivers would have still received the money for scrapping their vehicle, which remains at £2,000 for a car and up to £1,000 for a motorcycle.

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Sadiq Khan and a Ulez sign

Sadiq Khan said he continues to "do all I can" to support Ukraine


Khan suggested that the scheme could be launched within weeks once it has been given formal approval and will help Ukraine with “medical and humanitarian” purposes.

He added: "Two years on from Russia’s devastating illegal invasion of Ukraine, I continue to do all I can to help those affected, including supporting Ukrainians seeking help in London and signposting where Londoners can make donations.

“Alongside the human toll of the conflict, there has been a significant impact on Ukraine’s infrastructure, and these plans to donate non-compliant vehicles will help meet medical and humanitarian needs while also helping to remove old polluting vehicles from London’s roads.

“The scrappage scheme is open to all Londoners with an eligible non-Ulez compliant vehicle and is playing a key part in my mission to clean up our city’s toxic air.”

London Ambulance Service (LAS) supported the move, announcing that it would donate 50 decommissioned ambulances – 10 in the coming weeks and 40 more by the end of the summer.

While ambulances are not charged to drive inside the Ulez charging area, LAS said it will steadily remove non-compliant vehicles from its fleet.

The chief executive of LAS, Daniel Elkeles, said: “We are donating recently decommissioned ambulances which we can no longer use, but have refurbished in support of the Ukrainian people.

“Our thoughts remain with our colleagues in the ambulance service there as they do their work in such challenging circumstances.”

The move coincides with the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has battered the nation’s health system.

British-Ukrainian Aid (BUA) has delivered more than 300 medical and evacuation vehicles throughout 2023 and will help to organise the rollout of the measures.

The charity will provide documentation for people to receive their scrappage grant, transfer the vehicles to Ukraine and provide updates on the number of vehicles being sent out.

Rainer-Elk Anders, from British-Ukrainian Aid, said the organisation was “grateful to all Londoners” who will give their vehicle “a second life”.


\u200bUkrainian frontline medics Iryna Knyzhnyk and Brandon Mitchell stop in London, during their tour of the UK in a war-damaged ambulance

Ukrainian frontline medics Iryna Knyzhnyk and Brandon Mitchell stop in London, during their tour of the UK in a war-damaged ambulance


Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “As a Government, we have been steadfast in our support for Ukrainians as they continue to face Putin’s aggression.

“I expressed my disappointment last year to the Mayor of London that vehicles which otherwise would’ve been scrapped, could not be sent to Ukraine to help in the war effort.

“I am pleased the Mayor has seen sense – and Londoners can now help our friends in Ukraine by sending their scrapped cars.”

The TfL website now states that successful applicants to the scrappage scheme will soon have the option to donate vehicles to Ukraine.

The charity British Ukrainian Aid will support the transfer of vehicles to Ukraine to be used for humanitarian purposes, with TfL stating that updates will follow on its website.

Eduard Fesko, from the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK, said: “This initiative can benefit Ukraine and London greatly, and the embassy of Ukraine in the United Kingdom is proud to support this initiative and encourages all charity organisations and volunteer groups to join this effort.”

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