Wider-ranging support for vehicle operators affected by the expansion of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been announced.

Among the changes is that the scrappage scheme, paying grants of £5,000-£9,000 for non-compliant vans and minibuses to be either scrapped or retrofitted to be compliant, will be made available to London businesses with fewer than 50 employees, rather than just sole traders and micro-businesses.

In addition, charities operating in London will be allowed to scrap or retrofit up to three vans or minibuses instead of just one.

Also, a new grace period has been announced for sole traders, micro-businesses, small businesses, and registered charities who have ordered brand-new compliant vehicles, but have been informed that delivery will be delayed past 29 August when the larger ULEZ goes live – or if they have booked an approved retrofit appointment for a non-compliant light van or minibus before that date.

New car-focused measures have also been announced for child benefit recipients and care workers.

To comply with the ULEZ, vehicles including vans and cars must meet the Euro 6 diesel standard or Euro 4 petrol standard. Non-compliance incurs a £12.50 daily charge.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “We already have the biggest-ever scrappage scheme in place to support Londoners on low incomes, London based micro-businesses and charities and disabled Londoners. 

“But I’ve listened to families and small businesses in outer London who want more support and I’m pleased to be able to announce today a major expansion to the scheme run by TfL to ensure we can help them.”

Reacting to the announcement, Logistics UK deputy policy director Michelle Gardner said: “Today’s announcement of the expansion of the ULEZ scrappage scheme to include all small businesses across London will be welcome news for logistics businesses working to serve the needs of the capital’s economy.

“Logistics UK and its members support the Mayor’s commitment to improving the quality of the air we breathe, but have been concerned about the cost of switching to compliant vehicles at a time of high inflation.

“Logistics businesses deliver everything London’s workers and residents need every day, and today’s news will provide reassurance that they can seek additional support to replace non-compliant vehicles.”