London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone Cuts Toxic Air Pollution by a Third

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London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) can be considered a roaring success. The ULEZ was created by London mayor Sadiq Khan to combat the health crisis created from too many cars being in a small geographic area (and to improve the ability of people to get around the city). The plan called for a section of London to be only accessible to vehicles which meet the criteria of an ultra low emission vehicle, like electric cars. The policy has reduced the total amount of vehicles in that part of London while also reducing toxic pollutants in the air. If London can do it then surely other cities can too!

Since introducing the ULEZ new data reveals that:
• Roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution has reduced by 36 per cent in the zone. This is measured from February 2017 to September 2019, to reflect when the Mayor publicly confirmed the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) – the predecessor to the ULEZ – and people started to prepare for the schemes. Analysis in today’s City Hall report estimates that the reduction in NO2 pollution solely attributable to the ULEZ is 29 per cent*.
• None of the air quality monitoring sites located on ULEZ boundary roads have measured an increase in NO2 pollution levels since the scheme was introduced in April 2019.
• From March to September 2019 there was a large reduction in the number of older, more polluting, non-compliant vehicles detected in the zone: some 13,500 fewer on an average day, a reduction of 38 per cent.

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