Sadiq Khan ‘shelves plans’ to fine all petrol and diesel cars driving in central London

Sadiq Khan

The Ulez expansion was formally rolled out yesterday

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 30/08/2023

- 09:16

Updated: 30/08/2023

- 16:28

The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone has been met with widespread criticism from motorists

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly “shelved plans” to charge all polluting petrol and diesel vehicles from driving in central London.

August 29 marked the long-awaited expansion to the controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone with motorists of non-compliant vehicles paying a daily £12.50 charge.

The Ulez expansion has been met with widespread criticism, with protestors descending on Downing Street to attack Sadiq Khan’s plans for the emissions-based charging scheme.

Earlier in his tenure, Sadiq Khan had put forward plans to charge all petrol and diesel vehicles driving in central London.

A Ulez sign

The launch of the Ulez expansion has been met with criticism


Proposals outlined in the Mayor’s 2018 transport strategy for a “zero emission zone” in central London have been dropped, according to the Financial Times.

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office said: “TfL continues to support boroughs who wish to implement zero emission zones in their local areas.”

Oxford is the only city in the UK to have launched a Zero Emission Zone, with the council introducing the landmark scheme in February 2022.

All vehicles which are not zero emission vehicles are charged to drive within the city centre, with the most polluting petrol and diesel vehicles being charged £10 per day.

The charges levied on polluting vehicles will increase from August 2025, with the majority of petrol and diesel vehicles seeing daily charges going from £4 currently to £8.

With the Ulez now covering almost all of Greater London, the need for a ZEZ scheme in the capital would likely be met with further condemnation.

The Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone in central London is still active, with motorists being charged for driving in the area.

Commenting on the Ulez expansion, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “This is a landmark day for our city which will lead to a greener, healthier London for everyone.

“All the evidence shows that it’s clean air zones like Ulez that are the game-changer in a city like London when it comes to cutting toxic air quickly and meaningfully to protect people’s health.

“It’s thanks to the Ulez that we are now set to get London’s air to within legal limits in the next couple of years, 184 years earlier than previously projected.

“The easiest thing for me to do would have been to kick the can down the road, but we simply don’t have time to waste.

“I am not prepared to stand idly by when we have the ability to save lives and help tackle the climate crisis.”


A ZEZ sign

Oxford's Zero Emission Zone was launched in February 2022


Sadiq Khan also called on the Government to give London and the Home Counties money to add to the TfL scrappage scheme as they have done for other Clean Air Zones around the UK.

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