Air pollution might not be at the top of your mind, but it’s attacking your health right now. This constant barrage on our health has an impact on London as a whole, as well as all of the visitors and even the residents that call this city home. Mayor Sadiq Khan reviewed different strategies and came up with one that’s being implemented: a zone where the primary transport vehicles have to meet exhaust emission standards. If they don’t, then there’s a daily charge to pay. We’ll go into the top 5 things that you need to know about this new policy.
1. There are exemptions
Are you worried about your historic vehicle getting taken care of? Don’t worry — that’s considered exempt. You will not have to pay any daily charge. That also counts for agricultural vehicles.
2. The daily charge isn’t as bad as you think
Can the daily charge be steep? Yes, but only if you don’t meet the standard. Most newer vehicles should have no problem with this, as automakers have been notified of where the standard is set at. For most people, it will be 12.50 GBP per day.
3. Bikes are a great (and green) solution
If the daily charge is too much, you can always go through the zone by bike! There are over 11,000 bicycles for you to rent and they are available any time of the day or night.
4. Be mindful of the congestion charge
The ULEZ and congestion charge work hand in hand. If you are in select Congestion Charge zones in London, there will be a charge. It operates from 7am – 6pm through the work week, except for Bank Holidays and that holiday travel time between Christmas and the New Year.
5. Look into assistance if you’re disabled
Aside from the mobility scheme for the disabled, there are other assistance programs out there. For example, if you’re worried about having to comply with the congestion zone and ULEZ (ultra low emission zone, by the way), you can relax. There is a three year waiting period where you can look into purchasing a vehicle or co-sharing a vehicle that meets the new standards. Public transportation is bound by these rules as well, so you could always fall back on the buses if you couldn’t afford to keep a vehicle.
We’re grateful to Northgate for their help with compiling all of this information. When it comes to car hire, they have many interesting solutions that would also keep you compliant. Definitely check them out when you get a chance.
The time is right to handle air pollution in a different way, and while this scheme may sound harsh, it’s ultimately designed to keep you safe for the long term. If we can reduce emissions, we can look forward to a cleaner world sooner than later. Don’t our children deserve that?