ULEZ scheme to be axed for 24-hour window in December by Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan will suspend London’s controversial Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) scheme later this month in a 24-hour freeze.

The daily £12.50 per day fee will once again be completely axed later this month on Christmas Day. 

Meanwhile, London’s £15 Congestion Charge will also be axed from Monday December 25 to Monday January 1. 

The drop in charges will mean families can travel to see relatives completely free of charge on the big day.

ULEZ charges will be stopped when the clock ticks midnight on Christmas Day. 

However, fees will return again at midnight on Boxing Day meaning those returning from family get-togethers may still be caught out. 

Offering a free day is relatively uncommon for motoring schemes with the Dartford Crossing still taking payment regardless of the day.

But, London’s Low Emissions Zone (LEZ), covering heavy goods vehicles, lorries and vans, will still be in operation. 

Transport for London (TfL) said: “The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, except Christmas Day (December 25). The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including weekends and all public and bank holidays.”

Broadly speaking, non-compliant ULEZ vehicles include pre-2005 petrol and pre-2015 diesel cars. However, London’s alternative transport schemes will mostly not be running on Christmas Day. 

TfL has confirmed that London Underground, buses, London Overground, Elizabeth Line, DLR and tram services will not run on December 25. 

Meanwhile, river, IFS Cloud Cable Car, National Rail and Woolwich Ferry services are also non-operational. Taxi and Private Hire services will run on Christmas but costs will be higher. 

Black cabs will charge an extra £4 per journey until 6am on December 27 while TfL stresses there may be “an extra charge” for private hire vehicles.

The latest freeze comes after a controversial year for the ULEZ scheme which was expanded to cover Outer London boroughs from August. 

The expansion saw motorists in Outer London regions such as Harrow and Bromley required to follow strict emissions rules.  The change prompted a furious response from locals with hundreds taking to the streets in protest.

It was predicted that around 200,000 residents were affected by the changes with many forced to ditch their models for new machines.

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