Has ULEZ Made An Impact?

Sat 30th Jul 2022

While the London Mayor claims that the Ultra Low Emission Zone has made an ‘incredible difference’ in the capital, Transport for London research suggests that the recent extension to the ULEZ has had little impact on toxic emissions.

In a week when London’s leader Sadiq Khan has pledged to extend the boundary of the ULEZ even further, there's mixed news from data surrounding the effectiveness of the restrictions.

So while Khan is hailing the impact of cutting the more polluting cars from the roads since the ULEZ boundary was extended in October 2021, the data shows that the toxic emissions have not reduced dramatically. 

Prior to October there were 124,000 non-compliant vehicles driven within the new boundary, but once the ULEZ extension was made live that figure fell dramatically to 67,000, which is a significant impact. But the analytics of the data confusingly don’t reflect this. Looking at nitrogen dioxide emissions for April to June 2021, the harmful emissions were 55 per cent lower than TfL estimates if the ULEZ was not in place, but for the same period this year they were only 44 per cent lower. 

Despite this apparent set-back, Mayor Khan is keen to push the boundary even further to the out limits of London’s boroughs.

He said: “I'm proud of the progress we have made in making our city's air cleaner for millions of Londoners.

“Today's report shows the incredible difference that the expanded ULEZ is making after just six months. 

“We must now capitalise on this success which is why I'm consulting on expanding the ULEZ London-wide to extend the benefits of clean air to all Londoners.”