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Mayor announces massive expansion of scrappage scheme to all Londoners

Mayor announces massive expansion of scrappage scheme to all Londoners

  • Mayor says expanding ULEZ was a difficult but necessary decision and vows not to step back from tackling air quality and taking climate action to safeguard the health and future of every Londoner
  • Mayor and TfL have continued to listen to Londoners and today can announce that scrappage grants of up to £2,000 will be available to every single Londoner with a non-compliant car or motorcycle
  • Mayor has also listened to businesses and has announced that the scrappage payment for vans will increase from £5,000 to £7,000. Small businesses and sole traders will be able to scrap three vans or minibuses in addition to increasing retrofit payments from £5,000 to £6,000.
  • Additional support will also be available to charities with increased payments available for minibuses from £7,000 to £9,000, and disabled Londoners will see wheelchair adapted vehicle grants double.
  • The Mayor plans to use £50m of City Hall’s reserves to fund these changes – taking the total put into the Mayor’s scrappage fund to £160m and the most generous scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK
  • 90 percent of cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already ULEZ-compliant

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today say expanding the ULEZ London-wide was a difficult decision but that he remains committed to pushing ahead on 29 August in order to save lives, protect children’s lungs and tackle the climate emergency.   The Mayor will say he is not prepared to step back, delay or water down the ULEZ policy. With toxic air damaging the health of millions of Londoners and the need to tackle the climate crisis, Sadiq believes that the cost of inaction would simply be far too high a price to pay.Air pollution in London is an urgent health crisis, which can’t be solved later down the line. It’s responsible for around 4,000 premature deaths in the capital each year and is leading children to grow up with stunted lungs and adults to develop a whole host of illnesses – from asthma to heart disease, cancer and dementia.

The ULEZ is a highly targeted scheme that aims to take the most polluting vehicles off London’s roads. 90 percent of cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant.However, after listening to the concerns of Londoners over recent months and the impact of the growing cost-of-living crisis, the Mayor will announce today that to make the transition to a greener city easier the scrappage scheme will be massively widened to every Londoner affected by ULEZ along with a host of other significant changes. This means from Monday, 21 August:

  • Every Londoner with a non ULEZ-compliant car will be eligible for a £2,000 grant
  • Small businesses and sole traders will be able to receive up to £21,000 in grants to scrap up to three vans
  • Charities will be able to receive up to £27,000 in grants to scrap up to three minibuses

Also from today, Friday 4 August:

  • Small businesses and charities with a non-compliant van will receive increased payments of £7,000 (up from £5,000)
  • Grants for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles will increase from £5,000 to £10,000
  • Grants for scrapping Minibuses will increase from £7,000 to £9,000
  • Grants to Replace a non-compliant van with electric van increase from £7,500 to £9,500
  • Grants to replace a non-compliant minibus with an electric minibus increase from £9,500 to £11,500
  • Retrofit grants increase from £5k to £6k, typically enough to cover the whole cost of retrofitting

This will bring the total amount the Mayor has invested in the latest scrappage scheme to £160m, and, in addition to the £60m previously invested in the scrappage scheme, would be the most generous scrappage scheme ever seen in the UK. The scrappage scheme will be available on a first come first serve basis, with low income and disabled Londoners having already had seven months to apply. While the government has provided hundreds of millions in scrappage funding to other cities in the UK implementing clean air zones, they have not provided any to London. The Mayor continues to call on the government to provide money for people in the areas outside London to scrap their vehicles, in the way they have done across the country.

Car and motorcycle scrappage funds were initially prioritised for low-income and disabled Londoners to ensure those that needed it most had early access to support. Since then, the Mayor has listened to Londoners and announced in early June the fund would be expanded it to families receiving child benefit.  As we draw closer to the 29 August implementation date, and with over £60m left in the scrappage fund, the Mayor has announced the scheme will be expanded to help every Londoner with a non-compliant car or motorcycle. This will include many families who were not previously eligible as they did not receive Universal Credit or Child Benefit, but who need support to change to a greener, less polluting car. Most vehicle scrappage companies give customers money for their vehicle on top of the TfL grant – meaning people can often get hundreds of pounds more to scrap their car. A search of online vehicle retailers on 3rd August 2023 revealed that there are nearly 5,000 ULEZ compliant cars for sale for under £2,000 within 200 miles of central London on one major vehicle trading site alone – with more being added all the time. Opening up the £2,000 scrappage grants to every Londoner with a non-compliant car or motorcycle will help remove even more of the most polluting vehicles from London’s roads, ensuring we can clean up the air even quicker. In response to further feedback from disabled Londoners, the payment level for wheelchair accessible vehicles is being doubled from £5,000 to £10,000 to reflect the higher cost of vehicles with expensive adaptations. This will support more disabled Londoners to become compliant now with the support of scrappage funds. Those not doing so will still be able to take advantage of the grace period available for wheelchair accessible vehicles.

The Mayor has also listened to small businesses who said they needed more financial help to purchase ULEZ-compliant, less-polluting vans. As part of today’s announcement the grant per van will be raised from £5,000 to £7,000 and the number of vans or minibuses small businesses and sole traders can scrap will increase to three – meaning small businesses could get £21,000 for a greener fleet. Minibus payments will also be increased, as will the payments for switching to an electric vehicle, meaning some businesses could secure even higher levels of support. Those businesses who want to retrofit an existing vehicle will be eligible for a grant of £6,000 up from £5,000. This is typically enough to cover the whole cost of retrofitting. The Mayor has decided supporting more Londoners to change to less polluting vehicles is vital to making London a greener, healthier and safer city for all, which is why he plans to use £50m of City Hall’s reserves to fund these changes. This will bring the total scrappage funding up to a maximum of £160m – an unprecedented amount – that will see the scrappage scheme remain open for a significant time to come.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I have always said that expanding the ULEZ to the whole of London was a difficult decision, and not one I took lightly – but it’s a decision I remain committed to seeing through.  “I’m not prepared to step back, delay or water down vital green policies like ULEZ, which will not only save lives and protect children’s lungs by cleaning up our polluted air but help us to fight the climate crisis.“I have continued to listen to the concerns of Londoners over recent months, and today I can announce a huge expansion to the scrappage scheme that means that all Londoners with non ULEZ-compliant cars will now be able to get financial support to switch to greener, less polluting vehicles.“As we continue to build a greener and healthier London for everyone, I’m determined that no Londoner and no London business is left behind. We need to take people with us on the path to a sustainable future. We are ensuring that help is now available for everyone – and I urge Londoners to come and get it.”

Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Policy said: “We know the significant positive impact that ULEZ has made already since its launch in 2019 in helping to tackle the air pollution that contributes to life-changing diseases, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma. We are now getting ready to expand the scheme London-wide on the 29 August, which will bring the benefits of ULEZ to a further 5 million Londoners living in outer London, where over half of the deaths attributable to air pollution occur.“Nine out of ten cars seen driving in outer London on an average day are already compliant with ULEZ standards and will not have to pay the charge. The expansion of the scrappage scheme means that the remaining minority of Londoners who need to drive and don’t have a car that meets the standards now have access to financial support to make the green transition. The proposed £50m increase in funding, taking the total pot to £160m, will also mean more small businesses and sole traders can take advantage of scrappage and retrofit grant increases, as well as there being additional support available for registered charities. Alongside the scrappage scheme, a range of support offers are available for anyone making the transition to cleaner, greener transport, including savings on hire and subscription services for bikes, e-bikes, cargo bikes and e-scooters, and discounts on car clubs alongside many other deals.”

Dr Kush Kanodia – Disability Rights Champion said: I wanted to thank the Mayor of London and Transport for London for listening to some of the concerns from disabled Londoners for ULEZ.“This expansion of the scrappage scheme is great news for the disabled community and shows that campaigns from disabled people can have a significant impact to change the policy in Greater London. Anyone wanting to benefit should take note that it includes a doubling of the money available to scrap wheelchair accessible vehicles. While many more disabled people are also now exempt from ULEZ until 2027, many will want to know this money is available now, to take advantage of the scheme.“Disabled people have already been the most disproportionately impacted from austerity, the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis. Climate action must go hand in hand with climate justice and social justice, to prevent further increases in poverty and inequality in our society. We are now working to replicate these further reasonable adjustments for disabled people from ULEZ and the scrappage scheme to all future and current clean air zones, from Brimingam to Bristol and beyond. Thank You!”

John Dickie, Chief Executive of BusinessLDN said: “Cleaning up London’s air not only saves lives, it makes the city a more attractive place to live, work and visit. The expansion of the ULEZ is an important next step on this journey and the announcement of a bigger and simpler scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles is excellent news. This additional support will be vital for businesses and households making the transition during a cost of living crisis.”

Shaun Spiers, executive director at Green Alliance, said: “Air pollution causes around 4,000 premature deaths across London each year, and around 600,000 Londoners live with lung conditions. There’s no question that we need to reduce traffic pollution to protect our health. It’s critical that we shift to cleaner transport and reduce emissions, and supporting all Londoners to choose cleaner vehicles is vital to the success of the expanded ULEZ. That’s why the substantial increase in grants announced today is an important step forward.”

Nadra Ahmed CBE, Executive Co-Chairman of the National Care Association and Chairman of the Care Provider Alliance said: “Care workers are on the front line of dealing with the health impact of toxic air and any that reductions in pollution this policy brings will be welcome. It remains critical that care workers are supported through this transition to ensure any impact is mitigated. We would therefore urge providers to ensure their care workforce is aware so that they can take advantage of this positive change to the scrappage scheme which ensures that every care worker and every Londoner with a non-compliant car is now eligible.”

Tim Dexter, Clean Air lead at Asthma + Lung UK said: “We welcome the announcement today from the Mayor of London on the growth in targeted support available for scrappage, ahead of the planned expansion of the ULEZ to outer London. The increased support will particularly help small businesses and charities transition to cleaner, greener modes of transport.“The ULEZ is about reducing the number of polluting vehicles on the road and helping every Londoner breathe cleaner air, including the estimated 585,000 people living with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease living across London. Schemes like ULEZ are proven to reduce air pollution – a public health emergency contributing to 4000 early deaths in London every year.“We know there have been concerns about the financial impact of these schemes,  which is why we’ve been calling for the UK government to commit to a Cleaner Travel Access Fund to help people transition to cleaner transport. Adequate financial support is essential to ensure schemes like the ULEZ and other clean air zones around the UK are a success.”

Andrew Westcott, Director of Sustainability and Regulation, Addison Lee said: “We are pleased to see the Mayor of London extend the scrappage scheme for non-compliant ULEZ vehicles. Having invested £160 million to transition our fleet to electric, we fully support the need to urgently clean up London’s air and the Mayor’s ambition to make London a net zero city by 2030. Achieving this vital target will require closer collaboration between the public and private sector. From our own experience, this means ensuring the right policies and financial incentives are in place to support more fleets like our own with the transition to fully electric.”

Gabby Machell, Chief Executive, LDN London, said: “Our minibuses are vital when supporting people who can’t use public transport because of their physical and learning disabilities, sensory needs and autism, or where they struggle with accessing or using it. Having a minibus means we can help people go to health appointments, go out for group activities, go on holidays or for day trips, and occasionally support people to move house.“Extending TFL’s scrappage scheme will help save us money and to affordably replace our minibuses, be more environmentally friendly and to continue to support children and adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities to travel freely and comfortably across London. It will mean people we support can continue to travel easily and enjoy all that London has to offer. As a London-based charity we welcome measures to protect our community, including people with learning disabilities, by reducing air pollution and looking after the environment.”

See Also

*Evidence of the very high levels of compliance, with 90 percent of cars seen driving on an average day in outer London already compliant, is available here

The proposed additional funding for the scrappage scheme is subject to a formal Mayoral decision.

The ULEZ has been an incredibly successful policy

  • Since its launch in 2019, the ULEZ has helped to reduce levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide by 46 per cent in central London and by more than 20 per cent in inner London.
  • Particulate matter levels have also continued to reduce across London, with a 41 per cent reduction in central and inner London since 2017.
  • Thanks to the ULEZ expansion to inner London, more than four million people now breathe cleaner air, including children in 1,362 schools.
  • Bold mayoral policies, such as the central ULEZ, have helped reduce the number of children admitted to hospital with air pollution related asthma by 30 per cent in 2017 to 2019, compared to the period between 2014 to 2016.
  • Since the ULEZ was first introduced four years ago it has led to a reduction of around 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from vehicles across London. This is the equivalent of 1.1 million flights from London to New York.
  • Compliance rates have soared in advance of the ULEZ expansion – with nine out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London on an average day already compliant ahead of 29 August.

Air pollution represents a major health crisis in London

  • In 2019 around 4,000 Londoners died prematurely due to causes linked to air pollution, with the greatest number of premature deaths in outer London. The UK government estimates that there are between 28,000-36,000 premature deaths linked to air pollution every year across the country.
  • Every outer London borough exceeds the WHO’s recommended guidelines for NO2 and PM2.5 pollution.
  • More than 500,000 Londoners live with asthma and are more vulnerable to the impacts of toxic air. More than half of these people live in outer London boroughs.

The full set of proposed changes are as follows:

 From today (4 August):

  • Grants for scrapping a non-compliant van will increase from £5,000 to £7,000
  • Grants for wheelchair accessible vehicles will increase from £5,000 to £10,000
  • Grants for scrapping minibuses will increase from £7,000 to £9,000
  • Grants to replace a non-compliant van with electric van increase from £7,500 to £9,500
  • Grants to replace a non-compliant minibus with an electric minibus increase from £9,500 to £11,500
  • Retrofit grants increase from £5k to £6k, typically enough to cover the whole cost of retrofitting

From 21 August:

  • Every Londoner with a non ULEZ-compliant car or motorcycle will be eligible for a £2,000 grant (or £1,000 for a motorcycle), or a higher value package of up to two bus and tram passes plus a lower grant (no change to the payment level)
  • Small businesses and sole traders will be able to apply to scrap up to three vehicles (from one)