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London ultra low emission zone approved

Published: 26 March 2015

Updated: 26 March 2015

A new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will be in place in September 2020 according to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and all motorcycles over 13 years old will have to pay £12.50 per day to enter.

The ULEZ is the world’s first such zone and will require all vehicles travelling in the congestion charge zone of central London to meet the emissions standards 24 hours a day, seven days a week or pay a daily charge.

A consultation was launched in November 2014 and has seen more than 16,000 responses.

Bikes have been included in the charging plans despite the fact they account for less than 1% of nitrous oxide emissions and help to reduce congestion for all travellers by removing cars from the road, older bikes are regarded as heavy polluters.

The rules for motorcycles applies to motorcycles under this rule:

  • Motorcycles and similar vehicles – Euro 3 (registered from July 1, 2007 - 13 years old or less in 2020).  Non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily charge of £12.50.

The Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) have stated they have intentionally confirmed the ULEZ five years ahead of its introduction to give warning and preparation time for affected road users.

Residents living in the ultra low emission zone will have a three year ‘sunset period’, meaning that they do not need to comply with the emissions standards until September 2023. Classic vehicles meeting the free vehicle excise duty rules of the rolling 40 year age are also exempt from the rules.

Michele Dix, managing director of planning at TfL, said: “London’s air quality has an impact on the health of every person living in this city which is why addressing emissions from road transport is such a priority. 

"The ULEZ is a feasible and effective way to improve air quality not only in central London but it will also have a positive impact across the whole city too. 

"We believe that giving owners of non-compliant vehicles more than five years to prepare means that they have fair warning to decide whether to change their vehicle to one that meets the emissions standards of the zone or pay a daily charge.”

For the other vehicles the new ULEZ states:


The ULEZ will require:

  • Cars and small vans – Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from September 1, 2015 so five years old or less in 2020) and Euro 4 for petrol engines (registered from January 1, 2006 so 14 years old or less in 2020).  Non-compliant vehicles could still drive in the zone but they will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
  • Large vans and minibuses – Euro 6 for diesel engines (registered from 1 September 1, 2016 so four years old or less in 2020) and Euro 4 for petrol engines (registered from January 1, 2007 so 13 years old or less in 2020). Non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
  • Heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches – Euro 6 (registered from January 1, 2014 so six years old or less in 2020 except TfL buses which are required to meet a higher standard).  Non- compliant vehicles will be required to pay a daily charge of £100.
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