Monday, February 26

Just a third of London Ulez scrap payouts given

Only a third of Londoners who asked TfL for help to scrap their car ahead of the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone have received a pay-out.

Latest figures obtained by the Standard from TfL reveal that 16,089 applications had been received by Monday last week but only 5,348 payments made.

A total of £61 million has been set aside by Mayor Sadiq Khan to help low-income and disabled Londoners, small businesses and charities scrap petrol and diesel vehicles that breach the Ulez emission rules.

The zone is due to expand from central London to the inner boundaries of the North and South Circular roads on October 25. Drivers of non-compliant vehicles have to pay a £12.50-a-day levy.

Grants worth £2,000 for cars and £1,000 for motorbikes or mopeds are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

It has also emerged that classic cars built before 1973 will not have to pay the Ulez, after a number of enthusiasts raised concerns that they would be unable to comply with it.

TfL said that 6,630 of the 16,089 applications for grants to encourage Londoners to scrap non-compliant cars, motorbikes or mopeds had been accepted by last week.

The gap of almost 1,300 cases between money being awarded and the payment being collected was due to the fact that some applicants did not claim the money immediately, TfL said.

A spokesman added that more than half of the applications had been rejected, mainly due to insufficient evidence or ineligible vehicles.

About £9.3 million has been paid in different scrappage grants, taking about 10,000 vehicles off the road.

TfL estimates that 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries currently seen in the zone on an average day are likely to have to pay the 24/7 levy.

Only diesel vehicles registered since 2015 and petrol vehicles registered since 2005 are likely to comply with the Ulez rules.

Peter Fortune, deputy leader of the GLA Conservatives, said: “The Mayor’s failure to properly fund TfL’s scrappage schemes is undermining our capital’s… efforts to tackle air pollution.”

Mr Khan also moved to clarify the rules on historic vehicles, saying owners would be able to apply for an exemption on TfL’s website.