Stung: 20,000 previously-exempt drivers hit as London congestion charge changes kick in

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 13:44
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EXEMPT: The all-electric Nissan Leaf

Around 20,000 London-based drivers previously exempt from the congestion charge must now cough up, after the new Ultra-Low Emission Discount (ULED) came into effect.

Replacing the Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) from today, the ULED applies only to vehicles emitting 75g/km of CO2 or less and meeting Euro V air quality standards.

With the previous threshold being 100g/km of CO2, only pure electric vehicles (EVs) and three plug-in hybrids currently qualify.

However, vehicles already registered with the GVD remain exempt until 2016.

Matthew Pencharz, Environment Advisor to the Mayor of London, said: “These changes are in line with the Mayor’s aim to improve air quality in London by reducing emissions from private vehicles and promoting the further development of low emission vehicles.

“We want to encourage the continued development of these technologies, while also protecting the benefits to traffic flow in the centre of London that the charge provides.”

Other changes include the removal of the option to pay the £10 charge in shops and a penalty increase from £120 to £130.