Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion could cost motorists more than £3,000 a year

Ulez - Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty Images

Ulez – Kristian Buus/In Pictures via Getty Images

The extension of Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) in London will see thousands of drivers face daily charges and fines as there are not enough compliant vans for sale, according to a new analysis.

The zone will be extended across the capital from 29 August to improve air quality, with a daily charge of £12.50 for vehicles not meeting the minimum standards.

A report commissioned by Transport for London estimated that 30,000 non-compliant vans now use the Ulez expansion area every day.

But figures from Auto Trader – which claims to be used by around 80% of car retailers in the UK – show that its online marketplace only has 5,181 vans for sale in London and South East England.

Its total for the whole of the UK is 23,803.

There are not enough vans that meet the requirements

To avoid the Ulez charge, diesel vehicles – which make up the vast majority of vans – must meet the Euro 6 standard, which generally covers vehicles registered from 2016 onwards.

A trader driving an older van into the zone every working day will pay more than £3,100 a year. Drivers who do not pay face a penalty of £160 a day, which is halved if paid within two weeks.

The average price for an emission-compliant diesel van is £23,972 on Auto Trader. This is £6,500 more than a non-compliant van.

An Auto Trader spokesman told the PA news agency: “This will be a real worry for thousands of van drivers who are already struggling with high inflation.

“The number of Ulez-compliant vans for sale in London and the South East is only a fraction of the estimated 30,000 vans involved, leaving most with the prospect of paying thousands of extra pounds to get to work.”

Ulez is now restricted to an area within the North and South Circular roads.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said: “The mayor made it clear that the decision to extend the Ultra Low Emissions Zone across London was one of the toughest he had to make, but with around 4,000 Londoners still dying from toxic air, it was a necessity one.

“Eighty-five per cent of vehicles on the outskirts of London are already Ulez compliant.

“For those who aren’t, the mayor has announced the biggest scrapping scheme to date – £110m – to help micro-entrepreneurs and Londoners who need it most amid the cost of living crisis, including low-income and disabled Londoners.”

Rishi Sunak last week urged the mayor to “properly reconsider” Ulex expansion after thousands of people voiced their opposition through responses to the consultation.

When asked by the prime minister, Sunak said: “It is disappointing that the mayor, supported by the leader of the opposition (Sir Keir Starmer), decides not to listen to public opinion by expanding the zone against overwhelming opinions of residents and business. .

“I urge the mayor to reconsider and address these serious concerns.”

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