You’d be forgiven for reading the above title and wondering “what on earth is the ULEZ charge?”. I know I was thinking them exact words when I was first informed about it by a driver at work. As it turns out, I should have been more aware of it since it directly affects me. Along with roughly 140K other drivers within England’s capital city.
We’ve all heard of the congestion charge by now (the charge for driving in a designated central zone of London) but many of us Londoners are unaware of the implications of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) which is being implemented by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, as of April 2019.
In a nut shell, the impending charge is set to add between £12.50 and $24 per day to the costs of any individual or organisation which cannot afford to buy a vehicle new enough to meet the government’s guidelines. The guidelines basically state that petrol vehicles must meet the Euro 4 standard (approx 15 years old) and diesel vehicles must meet the Euro 6 standard (approx 6 years old).
This means that, should you not be able to afford a petrol car which is under 15 years old or a diesel car under 6 years old, you will be susceptible to the ULEZ charge, AS WELL as the congestion charge. Nice.
Why is all this happening you ask? As always, it is a result of the British government attempting to tell us, the people, that they are looking out for our health. This would be great if it were actually true.
A lot of fuss is made of the air quality in London, but it would seem that is only applicable when the bill for cleaning the air is picked up by the general public. The reason why I say this is simple. In the midst of charging those who cant afford a new car/van for polluting the air in the city you have London City Airport announcing plans to expand their airport with 11 football pitches worth of aircraft stands and a quadrupling of the airports size. Add this to the fact that Heathrow just had plans approved to add an extra runway and you see what I am getting at.
Now, more than ever, it is evident that our government caters to one section of society – the rich and affluent – and it doesn’t look like thing will be getting any better, any time soon.