ULEZ should be replaced with smarter incentives, London Assembly told

Air pollution expert suggests paying people to choose greener transport options rather than charging drivers

The London ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is a “blunt instrument” that should be replaced with smarter incentives that reward people for choosing green transport options, an air pollution expert has told the London Assembly.

Simon Birkett, founder and director of Clean Air in London, told the Assembly that he and Isabel Dedring – former deputy London mayor for transport under Boris Johnson – had drawn up a plan for “vehicles to pay different amounts depending on the time of day, where they are, and the quality and quantity of the fuel they burn”.

  • Kingsley Cars launches ULEZ-exempt Range Rover Classic

Birkett suggests incentivising people to walk or cycle, arguing that schemes such as ULEZ and the congestion charge are “primitive” in the way they charge motorists for driving “100 yards into a zone”.

City Hall has said it will investigate replacing the capital’s existing charging zones by 2030, but MyLondon reports that Birkett thinks this could be done faster.

“I’d like to get a commitment from the mayor to introduce a bigger, stronger, fairer, smarter scheme. The beauty of it is that you could actually pay people to walk or cycle,” he said.

Dr Ian Mudway from Imperial College London not only seconded Birkett and Dedring’s plan, but called for it to be expanded to a national level.

Don’t get caught by London’s congestion charge zone with our handy explainer here…

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