The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is set to ask TfL to consult on expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone across the entirety of London in 2023.
The ULEZ was expanded in October 2021 to cover most of London, but Khan is now keen to extend it further to also include the outer boroughs.
According to the Mayor’s office, toxic air caused by traffic is currently leading to nearly 4,000 premature deaths a year.
There has also been a slower rate of improvement in air quality in outer London than in central and inner London, the research said.
“The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London,” said Khan.
“We simply don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to reduce carbon emissions to help save the planet. And despite the world-leading progress we have made over the last few years, there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the lungs of young Londoners and leading to thousands of deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in outer London boroughs.”
In response to the news, Nick Bowes, Chief Executive of think tank Centre for London, added: “Today’s announcement is another step forward for cleaner air in the city. To make it fair for all Londoners, it needs to be accompanied by measures to improve public transport in outer London and help the least well off who’ll be hit the hardest.
“However this must only be a short-term stepping stone to a smarter pay per mile road user charging scheme, something Centre for London has advocated for a number of years. This will be the truly transformational change that will be able to tackle congestion, promote active travel, clean up the city’s air and provide funding for TfL to invest in public transport.”