Londoners have urged the Mayor of London to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and crackdown on the most polluting vehicles.
A consultation revealed that 79% of Londoners supported Sadiq Khan’s proposal to bring the ULEZ forward to 2019 and that 71% believe it should be expanded to the North and South Circular.
It also indicated support for the Mayor’s call to Government for a diesel scrappage scheme to help Londoners switch away from the most polluting cars.
There was even stronger support for implementing an early £10 Emissions Surcharge (dubbed the ‘T-charge’) on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017.
The consultation found 81% supported the charge, which would apply to all vehicles with pre-Euro 4 emissions standards – typically those registered before 2005 – and will cost an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge.
Since the consultation, the Mayor has already implemented a new programme of air quality advice and alerts following strong demand from Londoners. On the day before high and very high air pollution days, alerts will now be displayed on road signs, at bus stops and station entrances.
Khan said: “A record number of Londoners responded to our consultation, which demonstrates they feel just as strongly as I do that cleaning up the capital’s killer air has to be a major priority.
“The equivalent of 9,500 Londoners die each year as a result of the air they breathe in our city, I refuse to sit back and do nothing.
“Both the previous Mayor and the Government failed to get their act together to meet legal pollution limits and that’s why I have put forward some bold, hard-hitting measures to tackle this issue head on. I will consider the consultation findings in more detail before deciding on the next step.
“Londoners were clear they supported my proposals, with a clear majority in favour of not only introducing the ULEZ earlier in 2019, but extending it beyond central London.
“They are also strongly in favour of the T charge-charge and most importantly, Londoners were clear that Government needs to do its bit to help meet the new ULEZ standards and that it should fund a scrappage scheme. Government now needs to listen to Londoners and work with me to deliver a national diesel scrappage scheme.”
The outcome of this consultation is being used by City Hall officials to shape the next round, which will start next month. The next round, which will be for 10 weeks, will include a more detailed and specific consultation on the T-charge reflecting comments made in the first round - ready for implementing in 2017.
The Mayor has instructed TfL to take the lead by stepping up its bus retrofit programme and introducing the first of a series of ‘Low Emission Bus Zones’ – prioritising the greenest buses on the worst polluted routes.
The Mayor has also said he only wants TfL to procure hybrid or zero-emission double-decker buses from 2018. On the 9 September two new all-electric bus routes were launched using 51 all-electric single deck buses. This takes the number of electric buses in use in London to 73, making it the largest electric bus fleet in Europe.