ULEZ expansion is ‘positive step forward’ as scrappage scheme launched

Sadiq Khan scolded by Conservative assembly member over ULEZ

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A new scrappage scheme was launched at the end of January to help drivers adapt to the planned August expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. Up to £110million has been made available by Transport for London to upgrade to cleaner vehicles and other forms of sustainable transport.

Eligible applicants could receive a payment to scrap their vehicle, or choose a lower payment plus one or two TfL Annual Bus and Tram passes worth more than the payment alone.

Petrol vehicles registered after 2006 and diesel vans registered since 2016 will evade the charge, under which drivers must pay £12.50 a day to enter the zone. 

Eligible applicants can get up to £2,000 for scrapping a car or up to £1,000 for scrapping a motorcycle. 

For wheelchair accessible vehicles that don’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards, there is a grant of £5,000 to scrap, or retrofit to ULEZ regulations.

Rob Jolly, CEO and Co-founder of electric car subscription service Onto, commented on the launch of the scrappage scheme and how it would impact drivers.

He said: “It is great to see the City of London taking a positive step in encouraging greener transport with the new scrappage scheme. 

“We saw that TfL has highlighted there will be subsidised offers for bikes, e-bikes and e-scooter subscription services.

“However it would also be great to see additional support for people looking to switch to no-emission cars, rather than just ULEZ-compliant cars.”

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The car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is open to applicants living in London and receiving one or more of a list of benefits.

This includes Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and a number of others.

Mr Jolly continued saying: “From Onto’s data, 90 percent of our electric car subscribers are first time EV-users and so we know it’s important that alternatives to car ownership are considered too. 

“Subscription services help make the switch to EVs more accessible as the flexibility means that having a car is less of a commitment.”

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When scrapping a van, drivers will receive a £5,000 grant, or a £7,000 grant when scraping a minibus.

Retrofitting certain vans and minibuses will make people eligible for a £5,000 grant.

If someone is looking to scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle, they will receive £7,500 or £9,500 respectively.

Alex Williams, TfL’s Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, said: “Any premature death and disease linked to poor air quality is unacceptable. 

“Londoners are already choosing public transport, walking and cycling for the majority of trips and the Mayor’s new scrappage scheme, the largest of its kind, will support more people to get rid of their highly polluting vehicles and make the switch to greener travel. £110million has been made available to support those Londoners that need it most to get rid of the dirtiest vehicles. 

“These grants will play a significant role in ensuring smaller businesses, those on low incomes, disabled people and charities are fully prepared ahead of the expanded zone coming in later this year.”

In addition to the scrappage grants, TfL is offering options for annual bus and tram passes as well as teaming up with other organisations to provide incentives for sustainable travel.

This includes offers from partners across different transport options such as bike hire subscriptions, e-scooter discounts and car club deals Mr Williams said he encourages all drivers to take advantage of the “fantastic” offers to get around London for less.

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