The RAC has carried out research which shows that almost “700,000 London car drivers are facing a Ulez fee” and will be charged £12.50 a day to drive in the capital.
The ultra low emission zone (Ulez) will expand to all areas in London on 29 August and the RAC has said that this will have a “massive financial impact on motorists and businesses.”
Transport for London (TfL) have said that nine out of ten cars meet the Ulez standards which drive in the capital and don’t have to pay the steep £12.50 daily fee.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that by extending the Ulez cover this will boost air quality in the capital.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said, “Cleaning up London’s air should undoubtedly be a priority, but the sheer number of vehicles that don’t meet Ulez emissions standards in Greater London suggests there will be a massive financial impact on motorists and businesses through having to fork out £12.50 every day they drive in the zone.
“We desperately need more co-ordination between the mayor and the Government to help small businesses, tradespeople, NHS staff and carers who have no choice but to drive into the expanded Ulez for work purposes from outside Greater London.
“Consideration should also be given to those who work at night when public transport is greatly reduced in the outer boroughs.”
He added, “Changing to a compliant vehicle at such short notice simply won’t be something many will be able to afford, especially during a cost-of-living crisis and at a time when second-hand car prices are so high.
“We need more creativity from London’s mayor and his team to help people out as the current scrappage scheme is akin to using a plughole to drain an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
“It’s simply not big enough for the scale of the job.”
On Thursday Khan said the aim of the Ulez is to “get the most polluting vehicles off our roads in order to protect both the health of Londoners and our environment.”
He continued, “People, businesses and charities understand the impact of air pollution on health and are preparing for the change.
“It’s now just one in 10 cars seen driving in outer London that aren’t Ulez compliant – a fantastic result.
“We expect the number of compliant vehicles to go up even more as people prepare for the expansion, but we know there is more to do to ensure every Londoner can breathe cleaner air.
“For drivers of the very few non-compliant vehicles, I have launched the biggest scrappage scheme ever.”