London rolls out strict vehicle emission charges

Posted: April 8, 2019 by oldbrew in Emissions, News, Travel

Central London [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]


It’s not clear how vehicles that have passed the mandatory annual ‘MoT’ test, which includes an emissions check, can then be selectively penalised for causing air pollution. London seems to be saying an MoT pass is not good enough, in some cases at least.

London motorists driving older, more polluting vehicles must pay a new charge from Monday as part of one of the world’s toughest vehicle emissions programmes, reports Phys.org.

The ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) charges certain polluting vehicles a £12.50 ($16, 14.5 euros) fee to enter the centre of the British capital under mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to reduce air pollution.

Anyone driving a diesel car more than around four years old or a petrol car more than around 13 years old will pay the charge, although the vehicle’s declared emissions will be the official measure.

Black cabs are exempt from the charge.

Larger vehicles, such as lorries and coaches, that exceed the limits face a daily charge of £100.

Khan said the Ulez will “help clean our air and reduce harmful road transport emissions”, which “shorten life expectancy and damage lung development.”

A King’s College London and Imperial College London study commissioned by the mayor found that poor air quality leads to about 1,000 London hospital admissions every year.

“As someone who developed adult-onset asthma over the last few years, I know from personal experience that London’s toxic air is damaging people’s health,” Khan said.

“This study is a stark reminder that air pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable Londoners and I’m doing everything in my power to protect children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions from our filthy air.”

The Ulez area will be extended to the whole of inner London from October 2021.

Full report here.

Comments
  1. Dave Ward says:

    “Black cabs are exempt from the charge”

    And how many of them meet the latest Euro 6 standards?

  2. oldbrew says:

    Read all about it…

    E. Standard: Row erupts over black cab exemption to planned ultra low emission zone

    But the zone would apply to police cars, ambulances and fire engines
    Tuesday 4 April 2017

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/row-erupts-over-black-cab-exemption-to-planned-ultra-low-emission-zone-a3506996.html

    New cabs (2018+) have to meet new rules. The ULEV charge for polluters is on top of the £11.50 congestion charge, so the best bet for those people might be to take a taxi 🤔

  3. Dave Ward says:

    “Londoners reacted with dismay and puzzlement at the decision to exempt black cabs. They said the vehicles were among the worst offenders, with huge ranks of cabs belching diesel fumes as they sit idling outside train stations. However it could take more than a decade for the already-licensed black cabs to be replaced

    Pretty much what I expected…

  4. Curious George says:

    Make the fee £1250.00, charge £12.50 for an entry on foot, and London will have the cleanest air on the planet 🙂

  5. oldbrew says:

    CG – not quite, because these charges only apply to a limited number of vehicles.

  6. ivan says:

    Strange about black cabs being exempt – didn’t Gummer and/or his mate Yeo have something to do with an electric powered black cab company the cabs being built in China.

    The other question is what did the Kings and Imperial College study actually study – car exhaust emissions or air quality, the two are not the same. The first should be looking at the combustion residue while the latter should be looking at the particles from brake pads, tyre scuffing and other particulate matter that is much more likely to promote and/or aggravate asthma.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    “As someone who developed adult-onset asthma over the last few years, I know from personal experience that London’s toxic air is damaging people’s health,” Khan said.

    “This study is a stark reminder that air pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable Londoners and I’m doing everything in my power to protect children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions from our filthy air.”

    Total load of twaddle. London’s air now has a third of pollution levels compared with 1970. So all these increasing problems are caused by reductions in pollution are they? Junk science that ignores the huge reductions in pollution.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Road dust is a factor, as ivan said.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust#Roads

    A big bang policy of getting rid of older black cabs all at once would put a lot of cabbies out of work – not politically feasible for a London mayor. Replacement cabs have to meet the new electric-oriented standards.
    – – –
    It’s much worse on the Tube…

    Tube particle pollution [upto] ’30 times higher than by roads’
    10 January 2019

    Particulate pollution was also found to be generally higher on London's Tube system compared to other subway systems.

    Researchers said this was "likely due to the system's age and the fact that large parts of the network are in deep, poorly ventilated tunnels".

    The Tube is the world's oldest underground railway network.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46820584

  9. stewgreen says:

    Re the Uber drivers vehicle of choice
    : a clapped out Toyota Prius driven on petrol cos the battery is knackered , but costs zero in ULEZ charges
    .. “It’s not clear WHY vehicles that WOULD NOT PASS the mandatory annual ‘MoT’ test, which includes an emissions check, can then be selectively LET OFF for causing air pollution”

  10. John PAK says:

    The solution seems straight forward to me. Add 2% H & O to the air intake and remap the computer to ignore the high O2 level and move injection timing close to TDC. Sooty particulates decrease close to zero. CO disappears completely, some diesel trucks use 25% less diesel but the various NOs tend to go up. This could be filtered perhaps. The H & O method means car manufacturers can do away with Exhaust Gas Recirculation pipes which on my Transit, blocked up early in its life.

    The fuel savings repay set-up costs inside two years for most commercial vehicles so businesses could be encouraged to do this through existing income tax rebates without more of these silly “top-down” dictats. Not sure how you control the dics that create these rules tho’.

    Here in Australia a Perth Uni lecturer designed a good system over a decade ago. (Marketed as Hydrogen Fuel Systems) These systems are not popular in Au as diesel is only 80p/lit and air pollution is only a problem in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on a small number of days per year.

  11. John PAK says:

    @Phoenix44.
    I spent 6 weeks in UK in mid-1997 and again in mid-2018. The air quality in the cities seemed pleasantly better than I remembered tho’ the general run-down greyness of the entire country was evident. Without any data I’d say that generally everyone is more environmentally aware these days and the place has cleaner air and water-ways.

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