Local Councils Welcome ULEZ Scrappage Scheme Expansion

Mayor has increased the number of vehicle owners who can participate

Scheme extends to the M25 on 29 August

June 2, 2023

The leaders of two local councils in the west London area have welcomed the announcement by the Mayor that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme is to be expanded.

The changes will mean there is increased eligibility for payments for owners of cars and vans wishing to give up their non-compliant vehicles.

Although some other councils are still pursuing a legal challenge to the expansion of the scheme a daily charge of £12.50 is set to be levied on older vehicles from 29 August giving just three months for them to be exchanged.

The eligibility criteria has now been expanded to:

• Allowing all Londoners receiving child benefit to apply (previously eligibility covered couples earning up to £40,000 only).
• Allowing small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to apply. Currently, only those with up to ten staff can apply.
• A new three-month grace period for organisations who have booked a retrofit appointment for a non-compliant van or mini bus but have not being able to have the work completed by August 2023.
• A new six-month grace period for organisations who have ordered a compliant vehicle but have been informed delivery will be delayed till after August 2023.

There are currently 874,710 London families in receipt of child benefit, with 578,315 in outer London.

Ealing councillors said they were ‘delighted’ with the announcement as the borough had requested that the Mayor of London review the scheme. In an open letter, Ealing Council leader Peter Mason and deputy leader Deirdre Costigan had asked for a review of the current eligibility asking for more provisions for small businesses and support carers and parents.

Cllr Costigan wrote on Twitter, “Myself & @_petermason wrote to @sadiqkhan asking him to open his #ULEZ scrappage scheme to more people in Ealing who want to stop using a polluting vehicle but need financial help. I’m delighted the Mayor has listened & expanded to families with kids & all small businesses!”

The Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy, Councillor Katherine Dunne, said, “We warmly welcome the Mayor of London’s decision to expand the ULEZ scrappage scheme today. This significant expansion will mean small businesses and families in Hounslow will now be eligible to apply for thousands of pounds of support to support a change in their vehicle. We wrote to the Mayor of London this week highlighting that while we support the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) we requested that he review the current criteria for the scrappage scheme.”

Under the new plans, there will also be a new grace period for sole traders, microbusinesses, small businesses, and registered charities who have ordered brand-new compliant vehicles, but have been informed that delivery will be delayed past 29 August when the larger zone goes live – or if they have booked an approved retrofit appointment for a non-compliant light van or minibus before that date.

The Mayor of London said, “The majority of vehicles in London are already ULEZ compliant and will not have to pay anything. But I completely understand the concerns of people who may not have a compliant vehicle and are worried about how they’ll make the transition.

“We already have the biggest-ever scrappage scheme in place to support Londoners on low incomes, London based micro-businesses and charities and disabled Londoners. But I’ve listened to families and small businesses in outer London who want more support and I’m pleased to be able to announce today a major expansion to the scheme run by TfL to ensure we can help them.

“Anyone receiving child benefit and all small businesses in London will now be able to apply for thousands of pounds of support from the end of July. The current scheme can already help couples in London earning up to £40,000 per year, and the expanded scheme will be open to all families claiming child benefit, which supports those earning under £50,000 the most.

“Expanding the ULEZ was an incredibly difficult decision for me. But with toxic air damaging the health of millions of Londoners and the need to tackle the climate crisis, I believe the cost of inaction would simply be far too high a price to pay. The ULEZ has been proven to work, already reducing toxic air pollution by nearly half in central London. Expanding it London-wide will help ensure five million more Londoners can breathe cleaner air and our bigger scrappage scheme will mean we can help thousands of families and small businesses make the transition to greener, cleaner vehicles.”

Around 5,000 scrappage grants have been approved for vehicles that will not meet ULEZ standards when the scheme expands, Transport for London (TfL) said in April. TfL has awarded almost £18m to individuals, businesses and charities since January, according to its own figures.

The scrappage scheme is designed for Londoners on lower incomes, people receiving disability benefits, sole traders, small businesses and charities. How much someone can claim is down to what vehicle is being scrapped.

Car owners can apply for a grant of up to £2,000 per vehicle, while van and minibus owners can apply for a grant of up to £9,500. Motorcycle owners can get up to £1,000 and those with WAVs (wheelchair accessible vehicles) can get a grant of up to £5,000.

Written with contributions from Rory Bennett - Local Democracy Reporter


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