Mayor of London unveils £23m van scrappage scheme19 December 2018

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £23m van scrappage scheme to help micro-businesses – those with fewer than 10 employees – to prepare for the forthcoming London ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).

It is planned to be in place ahead of the introduction of the ULEZ, on 8 April 2019. From that date, vehicles not meeting stricter emissions standards will be charged £12.50 a day to operate in central London, on top of the standard congestion charge.

These older vehicles include diesel vans and the mayor has asked officials and Transport for London to work out how the money could be spent most effectively. Further details of the scheme will be available next year.

Khan is urging the government to match his fund with another £23m, to enable the scheme to be extended to cars and charity vehicles.

Announcing the scheme yesterday (18 December), the mayor described air pollution as “a national health crisis”.

He added: “To truly get a grip on our lethal air we need to take bold action to rid our city of the most polluting vehicles.

“It’s not good enough to do nothing, and I’m determined to take real action which is why I’ve already delivered the Toxicity Charge in central London for the oldest polluting vehicles, cleaned up our bus fleet, and brought forward the ultra low emission zone. My scrappage scheme is my next step in tackling pollution.”

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Vans criss-cross the capital making journeys that are crucial for London’s economy. They are likely to cover more miles per day than a car simply driving to and from a single place of work.

“Helping smaller businesses, with limited cash flow, trade up to newer cleaner vehicles faster than they could do otherwise makes sense."

The announcement was also welcomed by the AA, with president Edmund King saying the scheme gives small businesses “a route to cleaner vehicles, an escape from air quality charges, the chance to stay competitive in their trades and businesses, reduce customer costs and above all the means to cut street-level pollution”.

Laura Cork

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