Ulez sign via PAUlez sign via PA


Sadiq Khan widens Ulez scrappage scheme as he bids to ease the strain on motorists

  • Sadiq Khan widens scrappage scheme to all Londoners to take sting out of Ulez
  • Every Londoner with an old car will be able to receive up to £2,000 to help switch to a less polluting model
  • Scheme was previously only available to those on low-income or in receipt of disability benefits
  • Auto Trader welcomes announcement, calling it ‘good news’ for Londoners

Time 9:33 am, August 4, 2023

As the controversial expansion of London’s ultra low emission zone (Ulez) continues to dominate national headlines, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced he will widen a scrappage scheme designed to help motorists.

The public fund was originally set up in January to offer cash incentives for drivers to scrap or upgrade vehicles which do not meet expanded Ulez requirements.

Since then payments of up to £2,000 have been available to those on low-income or in receipt of disability benefits.

Now however, with the cost-of-living crisis continuing to bite, Khan says the scheme will be available to all Londoners facing charges under Ulez.

It comes after he was asked by Keir Starmer to reflect on how the extension of Ulez to all London boroughs was being carried out.

The Labour leader blamed concerns around the scheme for his party’s narrow by-election defeat in Boris Johnson’s old Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat last month.

Khan said while he will not ‘step back, delay or water down’ the policy to tackle air pollution, he is widening the scrappage scheme after listening to residents’ concerns.

The changes will come into play on August 21.

The mayor said: ‘I have always said that expanding the Ulez to the whole of London was a difficult decision, and not one I took lightly – but it’s a decision I remain committed to seeing through.

‘I’m not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like Ulez, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air but help us to fight the climate crisis.

‘I have continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners over recent months, and today I can announce a huge expansion to the scrappage scheme that means that all Londoners with non Ulez-compliant cars will now be able to get financial support to switch to greener, less polluting vehicles.

‘As we continue to build a greener and healthier London for everyone, I’m determined that no Londoner and no London business is left behind. We need to take people with us on the path to a sustainable future. We are ensuring that help is now available for everyone – and I urge Londoners to come and get it.’

Khan, who is standing for re-election next year, also announced that small businesses and sole traders can get £21,000 to junk up to three vans, with £27,000 available for charities to replace three minibuses.

More support kicking in on Friday includes higher payments for switching to an electric vehicle, for charities with old vans, and for retrofitting an existing vehicle. Grants for replacing wheelchair accessible vehicles will double to £10,000.

Among those to welcome the changes was Auto Trader CEO, Nathan Coe, who described the amendments as ‘great news’.

He said: ‘This is great news for Londoners who have found it difficult to transition to less polluting vehicles.

‘We previously called for an extension of the scrappage scheme’s terms and this announcement from Transport for London is a really encouraging move to show the positive impact that incentives and support can have on people who are keen to make sustainable decisions but who just can’t afford to.

‘Further support, in the shape of a scrappage scheme for all Londoners, shows that prioritising clean air doesn’t have to be a decision of pocket over planet.

‘Some drivers may find that selling is still a better option rather than scrapping if their car is desirable in the broader national market – it’s important drivers do their research before deciding what’s best for them.

‘We also welcome the scheme’s extension designed to support small businesses to drive more sustainable vehicles.

‘Vans commonly make more frequent and longer journeys and so trying to incentivise businesses to make the switch to electric will no doubt be a great step in the right direction to improve Greater London’s air quality.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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