London’s ULEZ Already Showing Some Impressive Results

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was first launched in early April this year, and has so far led to some impressive improvements. Those in the courier network and others in the transport sector will be pleased to hear the great news that 74% of vehicles driving in ULEZs are now compliant with the standards.

Back to Basics

For those who need a quick reminder about what the ULEZ is, here are some facts to refresh your memory:

– The Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme was put in place to help reduce London’s growing air pollution crisis.
– It operates all day, every day around the central London congestion charging zone.
– Motorists, including those in the courier network, have to pay a daily charge to drive within the zone if their vehicle does not meet the new clean standards.
Initial Impact

Over the course of the ULEZ’s first month, the vehicle compliance rate rose to over 70%, and it was recorded that older and more polluting cars and vans were reduced by over a quarter (9,400 fewer non-compliant vehicles were seen in the zone on an average day).

Of course, the preparation lead time is partly to thank for these impressive results. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirmed the introduction of the Toxicity Charge back in February 2017, and in the period before the official launch, those in the courier network and other frequent London motorists were preparing, by investing in newer vehicles and generally opting for cleaner transport alternatives (including walking, cycling and public transport).

The Mayor stated that “the report shows how bold action reaps rewards – just one month after launching the world’s first ULEZ…we have already seen a significant impact on the types of vehicles driving in the centre of our capital and polluting our air”.

A Hopeful Future

It’s clear that motorists are becoming increasingly aware of the public health risks and environmental problems caused by their cars and vans, and with the help of some government action there is certainly hope for the future.

As it hasn’t been long since the launch of London’s ULEZ, it’s difficult to predict the full impact that more Ultra Low Emission Zones could have on the overall air quality. But, while vehicle compliance is important, it is equally vital to increase awareness of this issue and encourage more businesses to play their part in keeping the city’s air clean.

As the scheme progresses, more research will be done into how the ULEZ is impacting the air quality, and there is hope that after just a few months there will be room to improve the strategies even further based on the results.

If you’re in the courier network and aren’t yet working at your full capacity towards creating a greener future, get your business into gear – because if everyone works together, cleaner air for all will be far more attainable.


Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their online courier network. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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