The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme begins its expansion today (August 21), meaning any Londoner with a non-compliant car is now eligible for a £2,000 grant.
Support was previously only available to Londoners receiving child benefit or businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and before that it was only open to those on certain disability and low income benefits, as well as a small selection of other businesses and charities.
The changes to the ULEZ scrappage scheme that have come into play today (August 21) include various increases in payments for certain groups and/or certain vehicles. Charities are now able to receive up to £27,000 in grants to scrap up to three non-compliant minibuses and small businesses and sole traders will be able to receive up to £21,000 in grants to scrap up to three vans.
This is on top of previous increases earlier in the month (August 4), including but not limited to: the payment to scrap wheelchair accessible vehicles rising from £5,000 to £10,000, and grants for scrapping minibuses increasing to £9,000 from £7,000.
However, the most notable change, which is effective today, is that every single Londoner will be eligible for a £2,000 grant to scrap their non-compliant cars, or £1,000 for non-compliant motorbikes.
This makes this the biggest vehicle scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK: a scheme that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has always said to be necessary due to London’s critical air pollution crisis. Currently, Londoners in every borough are breathing in air that exceeds the World Health Organisation’s guideline limits for air pollution.
As it stands, the ULEZ zone covers everywhere between the North and South Circular roads, but is due to be extended to the whole of greater London on August 29. Around nine in 10 cars driving through London are already compliant with ULEZ rules, meaning most drivers won’t have to pay the daily charge, but an extra £50m has been put into the scheme to support drivers whose cars still remain non-compliant – particularly as the ULEZ zone will soon apply to more people.
Khan has stressed the importance of expanding the ULEZ to the entirety of the city, saying: “The decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one for me to make, but it is necessary to reduce toxic air pollution, protect the health of Londoners and help tackle the climate emergency.”
It is said that applications are being processed in just a matter of days, so Londoners are urged to apply as soon as possible in order to get their scrappage grant quickly and avoid having to pay that £12.50 daily charge.
More information on the scrappage scheme can be found on TfL’s website.
Also published on Medium.