Sadiq Khan extends Ulez scrappage scheme with £2,000 grant after devastating election loss

A Ulez sign.

The Ulez scheme is set to expand at the end of August

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 04/08/2023

- 09:10

Updated: 21/08/2023

- 12:20

Sadiq Khan has unveiled a major policy change to the highly controversial Ulez expansion.

Despite protests from drivers and his own party, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is pushing ahead with the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone at the end of August.

To ease pressures on motorists, a scrappage scheme was introduced allowing a limited number of drivers and businesses to ditch their older, more polluting vehicles for £2,000 towards compliant vehicles.

Mr Khan has now updated guidance to apply to all Londoners with non-compliant vehicles who can now get easier access to cleaner vehicles and avoid the £12.50 daily charge.

Previously, the scrappage scheme was only open to people on benefits including universal credit and businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Sadiq Khan at a conference

Sadiq Khan has insisted he will not "water down" his plans


The Labour mayor said the scheme would expand with immediate effect, with small businesses seeing the grant increase from £5,000 to £7,000.

The largest update will be introduced on August 21, when every Londoner with a non Ulez-compliant car will be eligible for a £2,000 grant or £1,000 for a motorcycle.

All London boroughs will be included in the Ulez scheme, despite protests and legal action from some councils in outer London.

Motorists are required to either drive a zero emission vehicle, a petrol vehicle registered after 2006, and a diesel vehicle after September 2015.

Sadiq Khan has insisted that he would not back down from his pledge to expand the Ulez at the end of August.

Commenting on the expansion, Mr Khan said: “I have always said that expanding the Ulez to the whole of London was a difficult decision, and not one I took lightly – but it’s a decision I remain committed to seeing through.

“I’m not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like Ulez, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air, but help us to fight the climate crisis.

“I have continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners over recent months, and today I can announce a huge expansion to the scrappage scheme that means that all Londoners with non Ulez-compliant cars will now be able to get financial support to switch to greener, less polluting vehicles.”

The £50million increase in funding brings the total scrappage scheme fund to £160million, with Sadiq Khan previously calling on Rishi Sunak and the Government to match the initial £110million investment.

This announcement comes after the Ultra Low Emission Zone was blamed for leading to Labour’s loss in July’s Uxbridge by-election.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, as well as shadow cabinet ministers, said that the decision to expand the Ulez contributed to the Conservatives winning Boris Johnson’s old seat.

According to research from the Mayor’s Office, around 92 per cent of vehicles in the current boundary of the Ulez zone are compliant.


A Ulez protest

The ULEZ expansion has been met with protests


A previous expansion of the Ulez scheme was rolled out in October 2021, with Sadiq Khan praising the work being done to bring down emissions in the capital.

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