Sadiq Khan’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (Ulez), has raked in £51m in its first four months while also reducing the number of polluting vehicles in central London by a third.
The policy, which charges polluting vehicles £12.50 a day for entering into the zone, was launched in April by the London mayor.
Since then, the number of “non-compliant” vehicles has fallen by 12,524 a day from 35,578 in March to 23,054 in July – a reduction of more than a third.
The zone, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, currently covers the central London congestion charge but will be expanded from 2021, when it will cover the North and South Circular roads.
Fines for cars have been set at a maximum of £160, which will be reduced to £80 if it is paid within 14 days. For lorries, fines have been set at £1,000, which will be cut to £500 if paid within two weeks.
The Ulez move is part of a radical plan to tackle London’s air pollution, which is operating at illegally high levels and is known to increase health problems such as asthma, and even psychosis.
Khan said: “Today’s figures prove that the Ulez continues to have a significant impact with 12,500 fewer older, polluting vehicles now coming into the zone compared with March.
“These older vehicles send harmful emissions into our air and lungs and I will continue to take bold action to protect Londoners from this invisible killer. It is highly encouraging to see that so many motorists and businesses are helping reduce pollution by driving cleaner vehicles into the zone.”
Tory mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey said: “Ulez is a much-needed scheme in central London, our greatest poor air hotspot. Created by Boris Johnson, Ulez will remain a great testament to his time at City Hall.
“I believe that the proceeds from hard-working Londoners should be ring fenced for air quality schemes which is why I would fund a new all electric bus fleet out of the proceeds.
“The best way to clean up our capital’s air quality is to remove the dirty diesel buses emitting their fumes all over the city.”