As part of the Mayor of London’s bold action to tackle dirty air across the capital, Sadiq Khan has announced a series of measures that will accelerate the move to cleaner vehicles across London.
The Mayor has announced that he will double payments for his van scrappage scheme to £7,000 ($9,170), with £9,500 ($12,445) also now available to those switching to electric vans. The increased funding will enable more van owners to switch to cleaner vehicles, while helping businesses prepare for the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) up to the north and south circular next year, and the tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone standards this October.
The Mayor has also announced that he is broadening the eligibility for the van scrappage scheme so that more businesses can benefit. Previously firms with fewer than 10 employees, defined as micro businesses, were eligible. Now small businesses, those with 50 or fewer employees, are also included.
Alongside helping van owners, the Mayor is taking action later this year to support small businesses operating heavy vehicles. Heavy vehicles, which include HGVs, coaches and buses that are not part of the TfL network, make up more than a third of the harmful pollution from transport. To help clean up the heavy vehicle fleet, the van scrappage scheme will open to small businesses operating heavy vehicles later this year. TfL is finalising the details of the scheme, but it is expected that it will be in the form of a grant of around £15,000 ($19,650) for each polluting heavy vehicle, up to a maximum of three vehicles.
To further support businesses to prepare for the ULEZ, as well as to help clean up local high streets, the Mayor is also announced a further £1.75 million ($2.3 million) in London economic action partnership (LEAP) funding to deliver six more business-led Low Emission Neighbourhoods.
Projects to be funded include the installation of one of the UK’s first ultra-fast electric vehicle charging depots in partnership with EON, providing multiple fast charging points, and the provision of additional zero emissions delivery services.
These projects have so far delivered targeted pollution-busting measures in pollution hotspots across London, such as the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Streets in Shoreditch, a 16% reduction in older more polluting vehicles parking in the Marylebone LEN, and new clean air routes to destinations such as Guys Hospital and Regents Park which help pedestrians reduce their exposure to pollution by up to 60%.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Our dirty air is a national health crisis that contributes to thousands of premature deaths ever year. While bold action such as our Ultra Low Emission Zone is starting to make a difference in London, I want to ensure there is help for businesses making the switch to cleaner greener vehicles – whether you rely on a van, lorry or coach. We now need the government to match our levels of ambition and fund a national scrappage scheme that supports all those small businesses who want to do the right thing and switch to cleaner vehicles across the UK.”
The ULEZ, which was introduced last April and has some of the toughest emission standards in the world, has seen 13,500 fewer older, more polluting vehicles each day enter the zone. It is also estimated that harmful NOx emissions from transport have been reduced by more than 30% in central London so far.