The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) currently operates in central London, in the same area as the Congestion Charge zone. It was implemented on 8 April 2019 to help reduce pollution caused by older, more polluting vehicles.
From 25 October 2021, the existing central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand to create a single larger zone up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).
Heavy diesel vans, minibuses, buses, coaches, lorries and other specialist vehicles are also subject to London-wide Low Emission Zone standards. From 1 March 2021, Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards for buses, coaches and minibuses (over 5 tonnes GVW) and vans, lorries and specialist heavy vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes GVW) will be in place in the London-wide Low Emission Zone.
Despite recent improvements in air quality, toxic air pollution in London remains the biggest environmental risk to the health of all Londoners. It harms our lungs worsens, chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung and heart disease, and puts the health of our children at risk.
Air pollution is not just a central London problem, with many areas across the city still exceeding the legal limits for pollution. Pollution levels are now returning to pre-pandemic levels across the Capital.
Traffic emissions are the biggest source of poor air quality. The world's first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was implemented in central London in April 2019 and has seen the number of vehicles meeting the tough emission standards rise from 39% in February 2017* to more than 80%. It has also had a transformational impact on air pollution, contributing to a 44% reduction in roadside nitrogen dioxide within its boundaries. That's why The Mayor of London and TfL are helping to improve air quality across the Capital, by making our transport greener and expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
The ULEZ has no barriers or toll booths. Instead, cameras read your number plate as you drive within the zone and check it against our database of UK-registered and non-UK registered vehicles. This shows whether your vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards, is exempt, is registered for a discount, or if you have already paid the daily charge. The same system will be in place when the zone is expanded in October 2021.
If you are parked but don’t drive, you don’t need to pay the ULEZ charge. However, even if you make a short trip using a vehicle that doesn’t meet the ULEZ standards you need to pay the daily change.