London is split over the fact that the whole city is now an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
The zone, which aims to improve London’s poor air quality, has just been expanded from central London to all London boroughs. It means that motorists who drive high-polluting vehicles have to pay a daily £12.50 fee to drive anywhere in the city. Around 90% of cars around London already meet ULEZ’s low-emission standards, so they don’t have to pay.
Supporters of the ULEZ scheme say the price is worth paying for cleaner, healthier air. Similar zones in other cities, like Birmingham, have been proven to cut pollution from vehicles. The daily fee is cheaper in London than clean air zones in some other European cities, too – Glasgow charges £60, and Paris charges £115.
Critics, though, argue that it is wrong to expand the scheme during a cost of living crisis, and poorer residents who can’t afford to change their car will be hit hardest. Others say people with higher-polluting cars should have been given more than nine months’ notice to get ready.
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