Majority of vehicles are now compliant with ULEZ

By Conall Martin / Updated: 22 Dec 2021

According to recent figures from the Mayor of London, 92% of vehicles driving within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) are now compliant.

The ULEZ – which was recently expanded – is now 18 times the size of the original zone introduced in 2019 which covered Central London. The zone now encompasses one-quarter of London and covers four million people. Measuring 380 sq km, it is now the largest zone of its kind in Europe.

The report from the Mayor of London published on 10 December 2021 evaluates the impacts of the expanded ULEZ in its first month of implementation. The key findings indicated that:

  • Compared to compliance levels of 39% in 2017, the percentage of vehicles now meeting the required standard has more than doubled.
  • On average there were around 47,000 fewer older, more polluting vehicles seen each day in the zone compared to the two weeks before the scheme was introduced, a reduction of 37%.
  • There were also 11,000 fewer vehicles driving at all, each day.
  • As a result of these changes, there will be an estimated 5% reduction in CO2 emissions from cars and vans in the newly expanded zone in its first year. This is on top of the 6% reduction in CO2 emissions in the central London ULEZ area since 2019.
  • Compliance with the ULEZ standards in the rest of London outside the zone has reached 82%, an increase of 2% points since the scheme went live in October, demonstrating the wider benefits of the scheme. This compares to compliance levels of 39% in February 2017, an increase of 43% since the ULEZ was announced.

The expanded ULEZ, in combination with the tighter Londonwide Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) standards for heavy vehicles introduced in March, is anticipated to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from road transport by 30% across the capital in 2021.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, stated that the results seen from the expanded ULEZ show that bold action reaps rewards on air quality and climate change. This represents crucial progress as “toxic air is an invisible killer, responsible for one of the biggest public health crises of our generation.”

The Mayor went on to say: “Everyone should have the right to breathe clean air, which is why expanding the ULEZ was a crucial step. The high compliance rate means that millions of Londoners are already benefiting from cleaner air.”


Original article first published by AirQualityNews on 10 December 2021

Photo Credit: © Alena Veasey / - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

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