ULEZ scrappage scheme goes live for all London residents. The £110 million initiative now offers grants of up to £2000 available to eligible motorists after being extended.
The scheme to help cover the cost of replacing a non-ULEZ-compliant vehicle had previously only been available to Londoners receiving certain benefits, but Sadiq Khan has pledged another £50 million to widen its eligibility. Small businesses are able to receive £7000 to scrap a non-eligible van (with a limit of three vans per company), with the grant for minibuses rising from £7000 to £9000. The £5000 grant for replacing Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles was also doubled to £10,000.
There is extra funding available for retrofitting vehicles to meet the ULEZ regulations, or for replacing vans and minibuses with electric vehicles.
In a statement, Khan said that “cleaning up our toxic air can’t wait”, adding: “As we strive to build a greener and healthier London for everyone, I’m determined that no Londoner and no London business is left behind. Our expanded scrappage support will help many more Londoners.”
Meanwhile, Merton Council in London will introduce its own £1 million scheme for the poorest residents and certified carers in the borough, offering an additional £1000. In a statement, the council said: “The council is clear that this support should be provided by the government in Westminster – as they have done elsewhere – but they have so far refused.”
ULEZ expansion will go ahead after court ruling
The extra funding comes after considerable controversy over the expansion of ULEZ following the recent Uxbridge by-election and a recent court case.
A judge ruled that Khan’s plan to expand London’s ULEZ can go ahead on 29 August. That will expand the scheme to all of Greater London, with the M25 orbital road subsequently forming the rough boundary.
A daily £12.50 non-compliance fee is imposed on drivers of petrol cars that don’t meet at least Euro 4 emissions standards and diesel cars that don’t meet Euro 6 standards.
The plan has been met with widespread condemnation, on the basis that paying the surcharge or buying a compliant car will have a dramatic economic impact on affected drivers, at a time when the cost of living is nearing an all-time high.
Five Conservative-led London councils raised the plans in the High Court, arguing Khan “lacks the powers” to introduce such a measure, and that the scrappage scheme designed to alleviate the impact of the scheme is ineffective. They lost their appeal, and the scheme will go ahead.
Khan hailed the “landmark decision” as “good news, as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London”.
Nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London are compliant and won’t need to pay a penny. For anyone who is affected, help is available, including thousands of pounds for people on low incomes, charities, small businesses, disabled Londoners and anyone in receipt of child benefit.
“Sadiq is committed to the expansion but is always listening and is happy to look at any new ideas for ways to mitigate the impact of expanding the ULEZ on Londoners while still tackling air quality and the climate crisis. He has listened to Londoners throughout this process and continues to do so – and he has already made a number of changes to expand the scrappage eligibility scheme.