Toxicity In The City

London, the capital of England, home to everyone’s favourite dillydallying politicians and the most polluted city in the whole of the United Kingdom.

They’re trying to combat this latter award by implementing new charges on drivers in the centre of the city. The new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has come into action in the centre of London.

Originally they applied a congestion charge for driving a vehicle within the very centre of the city, from Marylebone to The Shard, from Lambeth to Clarkenwell; see here for the actual map of the zone. This daily fee of £11.50 was only applied between 07:00 and 18:00, only on weekdays whereas this new toll will be active every single day from midnight to midnight. However, this new charge will only apply to older, higher polluting vehicles and not newer, or electric means of transportation.

According to the BBC, in general the new rules will apply to:

Motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (pre-2007 vehicles)

Petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (vehicles pre-2006)

Diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (vehicles pre-2015)

But to be on the safe side, it’s best to check your particular vehicle on the official Transport for London website by clicking here. If you don’t pay the charge, you could face a penalty of £160.

I don’t have a car at the moment but I tested it with my last vehicle and surprisingly, it is actually exempt from this new ULEZ so it’s best to check your vehicle too to see if it can also save you money. If you’re looking at travelling to London, I’d highly recommend using the public transport within the centre rather than driving as not only is there now a number of traffic and congestion charges, but also London is a horrible place to drive around in general.

By 2021, the city hall intends to have this new fee effective across the entire area between the North and South Circular roads. The endgame is that London’s air will be compliant with legal limits by 2025.

It’s not been a positive reaction from Londoners though, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said many small firms were “very worried about the future of their businesses” due to the “additional cost burden“.

According to one business owner, “We’ve had a local business, where the margins are so tight, they’ve now had to cease trading because they can’t get a retrofit kit and they can’t afford new vehicles.

There has never been a better time for drivers to consider making the switch to electric,” said Go Ultra Low, an electric vehicle campaign backed by the government.

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