Half of vans in outer London don’t meet Ulez emission rules, TfL analysis finds
Half of vans registered in outer London do not meet the Ulez emission rules, according to a new analysis by Transport for London.
This suggests that more tradespeople than previously thought will be liable to pay the £12.50-a-day levy when the zone expands to the Greater London boundary on August 29.
It came as Mayor Sadiq Khan’s efforts to clean up London’s air received unexpected support - from former Tory prime minister David Cameron.
Asked about the Ulez by LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Mr Cameron said he didn’t want to “get into the politics of London” but added: “I want clean air.
“Look, I’ve got three children. I brought them up in London. I live in London. I live underneath the Westway. So air quality is something I do care about.
“I’m very pleased that so many people are moving towards electric cars. I’m not up to date on whether Ulez expansion is a good thing or a bad thing.
“But generally speaking, air quality has not had the priority it should have had not just in London but across the country and we’ve got to give it that priority.”
The van figures are from a TfL analysis of vehicle registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This shows that the number of “light vans” that are Ulez compliant and registered to an address in the outer London Ulez expansion zone was 51 per cent by the end of last year.
However, compliance rates have risen sharply since 2019, when only 23 per cent of vans met the exhaust rules.
The figures come after 16 per cent of cars registered in outer London – one in six, or 280,000 in total – were found to not be Ulez-compliant.
TfL says the “best way” to calculate the number of non-compliant vehicles is by analysing the data from its numberplate-reading cameras.
It estimates 79 per cent of vans seen in outer London on an average day meet the rules and do not need to pay the Ulez.
The London Chamber of Commerce said the figures showed the need for Mayor Sadiq Khan to increase the size of the £110m scrappage scheme for low income Londoners and small businesses.
James Watkins, head of policy at the chamber, said: “These statistics confirm our suspicions that the scrappage scheme needed substantial improvement.”
Nick Rogers, City Hall Conservatives transport spokesman, said: “Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion will punish tradespeople, small businesses and charities who rely on their vans to move tools and supplies.
“Used van prices have gone through the roof and many simply cannot afford to upgrade. Sadiq Khan needs to scrap this disastrous policy.”
About £20m of scrappage funds have been allocated to 5,000 applicants – including £13.5m to replace non-compliant vans.
A TfL spokesperson said: “Our data for outer London shows that compliance is increasing. It shows that nearly eight out of 10 vans seen driving in outer London on an average day are Ulez compliant.
“The SMMT data covers vans registered to addresses in London. This doesn’t cover those actually driven in the zone or kept in the capital, and may include business fleets registered in the capital but driven elsewhere.”