London ULEZ scrappage scheme updated ahead of August expansion

A new scrappage scheme for the upcoming expansion of London's ULEZ will offer more support to charities, and those receiving Child Benefit.

ULEZ Low Emissions Zone

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced updates to the ULEZ scrappage scheme in the hopes of making the Zone’s expansion more affordable for people living within it.

London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is set for an expansion at the end of August 2023 that will see it encompass the majority of the city.

The arguments from those that support it, such as the Mayor of London, are that the ULEZ saves lives by reducing the amount of air pollution as a result of disincentivizing people from driving older, higher-emission vehicles in the Zone.

On the other hand, it is argued by those who oppose the ULEZ that the charges placed on older vehicles effectively prices people out of living in the areas encompassed by the Zone, because ordinary people are unable to afford vehicles which comply with the emissions limits of the ULEZ. 

In order to try and combat this, Transport for London (TfL) has announced an expansion to its scrappage programme for ULEZ, offering greater support for people whose vehicles do not meet the emissions requirements of the Zone.

The changes to the system see a greater number of people able to apply for the scrappage scheme. For example, people who receive Child Benefit will now be able to apply to scrap their motorcycle or car. Additionally, charities operating in London will be able to apply for up to three vans or minibuses to be scrapped or retrofitted to meet the emissions requirements. Thirdly, small businesses registered in London will be able to apply for the scheme; and small businesses, micro-businesses and sole traders will be able to apply for a new ‘grace period’ if the retrofitting of their vehicles will not be complete until after the expansion of the ULEZ. 

LondonWorld reports that single people earning up to £30,000 per year, or couples earning up to £40,000 per year will be eligible, as well as anyone with children who rents, rather than owns, their home.

The updates to the scrappage scheme come with a commitment of £110 million from TfL, of which around £85 million now remains. The scheme is currently set to start at the end of July, but LondonWorld reports that this could be brought forward.

The application system for the scheme has been split into two sections. The TfL website explains this as follows:

“The ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is for Londoners on certain low income or disability benefits with cars, motorcycles and wheelchair accessible vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standard.

“The ULEZ van and minibus scrappage scheme is for eligible sole traders, micro businesses or charities with a registered address in London, to scrap or retrofit a van or minibus that does not meet the ULEZ emissions standard.”

Applications for the scheme must be done online, “and you will need to upload evidence to prove your identity and eligibility,” the TfL website says.

The money received for scrapping vehicles is as follows:

  • Motorcycle - £1,000
  • Car - £2,000
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicle - £5,000 (for scrapping or retrofitting)
  • Vans & minibuses - £5,000-£9,500

Last year, when the upcoming expansion of the ULEZ was first proposed, the National Motorcyclists Council said it wants the ULEZ charges for all motorcycles dropped completely, regardless of any expansions. The Motorcycle Action Group has also made its opposition to the Zone apparent, attending protests and incentivizing emissions tests for bikers.

Visit the TfL website to find out more about the application process for the updated ULEZ scrappage scheme.

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