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London to see world's first Ultra Low-Emission Zone

London to see world's first Ultra Low-Emission Zone

London to see world's first Ultra Low-Emission Zone

Businesses operating in and around central London could soon have to make some changes to comply with the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is reportedly the first initiative of its kind in the world.

Workers in the capital could benefit from the project, which is part of London mayor Sadiq Khan's campaign to improve air quality in the city. Mr Khan said he wanted to tackle "lethal" air pollution and "dramatically reduce harmful emissions from up to 60,000 vehicles daily".

The mayor confirmed that the ULEZ has been given an earlier-than-planned introduction date of April 8th, 2019.

From this date, the ULEZ will operate in place of the recently implemented toxicity charge, covering the same area, alongside the congestion charge.

However, it will differ from the toxicity and congestion charges - which only apply during the week - in that it will take effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year.

There will be two ULEZ charge levels:

  • £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes
  • £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches

Added to the congestion charge, these new fees mean the more polluting cars and vans will pay £24 per day to travel through central London during the week, while lorries will pay £111.50.

Businesses that use these methods of transportation as part of their day-to-day operations will therefore need to prepare for these increased costs, and possibly look into alternative options such as electric vehicles.

Mr Khan said all revenue raised from the charges will be used by Transport for London (TfL) to create a greener transport fleet and reduce pollution across the capital's travel network.

The early introduction of the ULEZ is also expected to deliver benefits including:

  • A reduction of nearly 50 per cent in nitrogen oxides from heavy-goods vehicles.
  • A cut of more than a third in coach and non-TfL bus emissions.
  • Emissions from cars and vans dropping by eight per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Mr Khan said: "London's lethal air is one of the biggest health challenges of this generation. We can't continue breathing in air so toxic it harms children's lung development and causes chronic illness and premature death.

"We now urgently need the government to step up and provide the support to Londoners and businesses required to help them meet these crucial standards."

Businesses operating in or around London can take their own actions to support environmental improvements in the city, such as minimising the amount of waste they send to landfill.

It's also important to educate employees on eco-friendly practices, such as walking or cycling all or part of their route to work, or using public transport instead of driving.

Firms can also drive up their corporate social responsibility standards by ensuring they work with partners and external suppliers that have proven green credentials.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Getty/mikeinlondon