London is ready to spend £23 million to help take the most polluting vans off London roads. The new scrappage scheme has been launched to prepare small businesses for the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) due to go into effect in April next year.
The van scrappage scheme, announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will initially help London’s micro-businesses, defined as those with fewer than 10 employees, to switch to cleaner vans and electric vehicles.
Further details of the scheme will be available next year but the figure of £3,500 had been floated. Similarly, the plug-in grant for black taxis is worth up to £5,000 since no new diesel taxis will be licensed any longer. Those licensing for the first time need to be zero-emission capable.
Starting on April, 8 – 17 months earlier than planned – driving through the ULEZ will incur a £12.50 charge for petrol vehicles that fail to meet Euro 4 emissions standards, and diesels below Euro 6 standards. This is on top of the conventional congestion charge of 12 pounds a day.
To date, about 4,000 cars and vans a day already pay the T-charge (T for toxicity), which the tougher ULEZ will replace. The ULEZ will apply 24/7 and all year long.
In addition, London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone will be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021. The new ULEZ will then cover an area 18 times larger than the one currently spanning central London.