Plans to extend the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of Greater London have been announced by the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan.

The proposed expansion would be introduced next year, subject to consultation.

It was initially proposed as a measure to cut emissions alongside two other options – to introduce a Greater London Boundary Charge for vehicles driving into London, or to implement a low-level daily Clean Air Charge for all but the cleanest vehicles. Those other two options have been rejected.

Long-term, Khan plans to introduce smart road user charging to address emissions, but this is still said to be several years away from implementation.

It is said that expanding the ULEZ would reduce NOx emissions from cars and vans by between 285 and 330 tonnes, and reduce CO2 emissions in outer London by between 135,000 and 150,000 tonnes.

Khan has also committed to helping charities, small businesses, disabled people, and people on lower incomes adapt to the potential London-wide ULEZ, with as big a scrappage scheme as is feasible to help motorists in outer London scrap older, more polluting vehicles.

Khan said: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don’t have time to waste.

“In weighing up the different options, the rising cost of living was a key consideration for me. Because at a time when people’s budgets are under pressure, I’m not willing to ask people to pay more unless I’m absolutely convinced it’s justified to save lives and protect the health of Londoners. 

“I believe the proposal to extend the ULEZ London-wide will have the biggest effect on emissions and congestion relative to the potential financial impact on Londoners as a whole.”