In the past years, the British capital has been known as one of the most strict cities regarding urban traffic. Being one of the world’s most crowded cities, London authorities were forced to impose strict rules for those driving in the city each day, especially in the city center. This is how the Low Emissions Zone was born in 2012, an area where buses, trucks and even diesel powered vans were restricted and crossing the area required drivers to pay a congestion charge.
It looks like these measures were still not enough, because London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, wants to make the rules even more stringent by the end of this decade. The project wants to create a new area, called Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), by 2020 and it will mainly concern diesel vehicles. These will be allowed access in the ULEZ area only after paying a £10 ($17) tax in addition to the already existing £11.5 ($19) charge. Also, London’s mayor wants to convince the government to increase taxing for diesel cars, in hope of making people choose more environment friendly vehicles. Despite several environmental groups requesting Johnson to completely ban diesel cars, he has reject this proposition at the moment.
So far, it’s not entirely clear what vehicles will be affected by London’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone, but first reports indicate it will target cars that don’t comply with the most recent Euro 6 emissions standards and also petrol powered cars built before 2006. None of these has been confirmed or denied by Johnson.
These measures sort of confuse British drivers, because 15 years ago authorities encouraged everyone to buy diesel cars, which were more fuel efficient and produced lower CO2 emissions. Government tax deductions and the technology progress made diesel cars extremely popular with sales growing each year. And right now, the main concern is that all these measures will have a significant impact on both new and used cars market.
Boris Johnson’s proposition will be voted upon soon, the mayor hoping for it to go in effect by 2020. Several other British cities already announced their intents to develop similar projects in case it proves to be viable.
Get the latest stories delivered to your inbox
If you like our articles, please subscribe. We guarantee it's only extremely interesting stuff! Not to mention it's all for free.