Industry News

Small fleets receive share of £18m ULEZ scrappage scheme funding

posted on 26/04/2023
Small fleets receive share of £18m ULEZ scrappage scheme funding

Almost £18 million has been awarded from a vehicle scrappage scheme to help prepare for the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in London, since the start of January.

Small businesses and charities, as well as low-income and disabled Londoners, have received a share of the cash.

While £13.5m has been allocated for drivers of vans and minibuses, the majority going to help small businesses, more than £4m has been committed to Londoners who own non-compliant cars and motorcycles.

Overall, 4,833 applications have been approved through the scheme, with £17,727,500 committed to date.

Transport for London (TfL) reports that 2,183 car and motorcycle applications have been approved, committing £4,174,000 of funding and 2,650 van and minibus applications have been approved, committing another £13,553,500.

The grants for vans and minibuses are higher than cars and motorcycles, reflecting the higher purchase cost.

Furthermore, 1,673 Londoners on low-income benefits have had applications approved, worth £3,175,200; 510 Londoners in receipt of disability benefits, totalling £998,800; 31 charities have had their applications approved, totalling £187,000 in grants; 1,290 micro businesses have had their applications approved, totalling £6,638,500; and 1,329 sole traders have had their applications approved, totalling £6,728,000.

Based on previous schemes, there is usually an increase in applications closer to implementation.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced in November, 2022, that the ULEZ will be expanded across the whole of the capital from August 29, 2023.

The expanded ULEZ will continue to operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year (except Christmas Day).

Vehicles must meet strict emission standards to drive in the ULEZ area:  Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans; Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans; and Euro 3 for motorcycles and mopeds.    

Drivers of affected vehicles who do not pay the £12.50 daily charge will face a fine of up to £160.

With just over four months to go until the ULEZ expands, TfL says that there are still tens of millions of pounds left in the scrappage fund.

The £110m scrappage scheme was launched to support smaller businesses, sole traders, charities, Londoners on lower incomes and disabled Londoners in replacing their older, more polluting vehicles with greener options.

The scheme helps Londoners on lower incomes or who receive disability benefits scrap cars and motorcycles, and sole traders, micro-business or charities scrap or retrofit vans and minibuses.

Deputy mayor for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “Around 4,000 Londoners die every year as a result of our poor quality air, and it contributes to a range of serious health conditions from asthma, to cancer, to dementia.

“While nine in 10 cars seen driving daily in outer London are already ULEZ-compliant, I’m pleased that thousands of owners of non-compliant vehicles have already applied to our scrappage scheme.

“My message to Londoners today is that there is plenty of funding still available and you may be entitled to the scrappage scheme and not realise it. So I urge people to go online today and see if they could also be eligible for thousands of pounds to scrap their polluting vehicle.”

Alex Achilleos (pictured), managing director of Inside Out Eventz based in the London borough of Enfield, provides catering services for weddings, functions and corporate events.

He said: “Our vans are a vital tool in helping us source ingredients and supplies along with transporting our food and equipment on time for a seamless event.

“The scrappage scheme has enabled us to take one of our older, polluting vans off the road and buy one that meets the ULEZ standards.

“As a family business we are pleased to be able to contribute to the action that is being taken to clean up the capital’s toxic air and protect the health of future generations.”

The £110m scrappage scheme builds on the previous £61m scrappage scheme that helped to remove more than 15,200 older, more polluting vehicles from London’s roads.

The previous scrappage scheme also helped to increase public transport use, with survey respondents reporting a decrease in car travel and an increase in walking, cycling and public transport use.

While there are many compliant vans on the market, owners of non-compliant vans and wheelchair accessible vehicles do not need to buy a new van and may be eligible for a £5,000 grant to retrofit their vehicle and make it is compliant with the standards.

This will ensure that more sole traders, smaller business, charities and disabled Londoners can use less polluting vehicles and fewer vans need to be scrapped.

All vehicles that are scrapped through the scheme are required have a target of at least 95% recycling and recovery and are more likely to be towards the end of their working life as newer vehicles would have more resale value.

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