Beginning today, April 8, 2019, ULEZ comes into play in London.
You may ask what is ULEZ???
It stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, and if driving in the Big Smoke in the areas affected in central London, it will cost drivers an additional £12.50, in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge.
So £24 to drive in central London, and not just for a 24 hour period now, but for that day!
The clock ticks over after midnight, to another charge.
So driving in some parts of London, just got more costly.
And we thought parking charges were bad.
So why this additional charge to drive in our Capital, simply to try and limit the number of drivers and limit the pollution and congestion.
ULEZ was started by the previous Mayor Boris Johnson, but has been picked up and implemented by the current Mayor Sadiq Khan.
This is an effort to get us to walk, take the bus, the Underground, to make use of all the public transport we have in London.
Which is a great idea, as long as none of them strike🙂
However, on the bright side, cleaner air, and saving a few quid by not paying these fees is a good thing.
How Do I Know If I Need to Pay The New ULEZ Charge?
For now if you are entering Central London and are in the congestion zone area, you will need to pay the ULEZ charge as well.
The new ULZE charge is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Unlike the congestion charge which is only Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm.
So no matter when you enter the affected area, you need to pay the ULEZ.
So how do you pay the new charge?
In the same manner you pay the congestion fee, and there will also be a mobile application as well.
Isn’t there an app now for everything.
I need an app for my wife, but I digress.
Can I Be Exempt?
Probably not, but some vehicles are, and there is a web site to tell if you are exempt or not. You can check here.
Basically it will depend on your type of vehicle, and the fuel it uses, and if it meets certain Euro standards. (We are not out of the EU yet)
Are There Fines If I Don’t Pay the ULEZ?
This is England, there are fines for everything, so yes, there are fines if you enter the ULEZ zone and do not pay the charge.
How much you ask, a lot!
The initial fine is £80, if paid within 14 days; after that, it jumps to £160! Ouch!
The fines can be as high as £1,000 for bus and lorry drivers. Wow!
Initially there may be warnings on first offences, but watch out after that.
As Sir David Attenborough recently said, and I paraphrase, our planet no longer rules us, but we rule it. It is our responsibility to makes changes, and accept climate change, and do what is needed to keep the planet alive for future generations.
OK, I embellished it a lot, but it is true, and why ULEZ is now in effect.
And it is not just London, but Manchester and Liverpool are also considering congestion fees to limit the number of cars driving around and polluting our cities.
More on the new ULEZ can be found here.