Two-thirds of London drivers think Ultra-Low Emission Zone is money-making scheme by cash-strapped TfL

London’s air pollution-fighting flagship scheme Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been touted as a “money-grabbing scheme” by drivers – and some feel it targets them.

Residents have faced a £12.50 daily charge since April 2019, possibly for a short journey to their local supermarket.

They must pay up if they have a pre-2015 registered diesel or pre-2006 registered petrol car which doesn’t meet the strict Euro 4 and Euro 6 emissions standards enforced throughout the city.

Two months after ULEZ’s recent expansion in October 2021 – now covering 18 times the original size up to but not including the North and South Circular roads – vehicle finance company Carvine conducted a survey to find out what Londoner’s really think about the scheme.

Of the 3,800 survey respondents, 62 per cent believe the scheme is financially motivated, while 38 per cent feel ULEZ is beneficial to Londoners as a whole.

An estimated £130m was spent to install the additional network of 750 number recognition cameras, in addition to the 650 already in place.

Lower-income households are still struggling to afford the same vehicles that are exempt from the emissions penalty. As a result, many poorer drivers are being priced off the road.

Within ULEZ’s first year of operation, City Hall raked in an extra £107m. Combining both C-Charge and ULEZ, the Greater London Assembly’s 2019-2020 financial year records a £267m net profit.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s data, this figure was just £160m the year before the scheme launched.

Transport for London (TfL) claim that zero profit is made from either of the schemes. Instead, all the money is reinvested in improving the capital’s transport network, including buses, cycleways and the Tube. Before ULEZ, all of the improvement funds came from fares.

Alex Thomas, a marketing executive for Carvine said: “ULEZ is undeniably improving air quality across the capital. But when you think about how TfL is targetting motorists going about their daily lives who don’t typically have the luxury of affording an up-to-date, emission friendly car, you have to start asking questions.”

In London, the average secondhand vehicle costs £9,376.


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One thought on “Two-thirds of London drivers think Ultra-Low Emission Zone is money-making scheme by cash-strapped TfL

  • Easy guess to make but it’s totally wrong
    ULEZ and its charges are just part of the TFL funding obligations imposed on the Mayor by the current tory national regime.
    The Mayor is being very generous when he describes the money being “reinvested in roads and public transport” his hands are tied by No. 10
    Nobody likes rising costs, obviously. But blaming the messenger is just childish


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