The Mayor of London has announced a £23 million scrappage scheme targeting the owners of pre-Euro 6 vans.

Businesses employing 10 people or fewer will be eligible for the scheme, which is being introduced in preparation for April’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This will see all pre-Euro 6 vans (and cars) pay £12.50 to enter the Congestion Charge Zone, in addition to the standard £11.50 Congestion Charge.

London ULEZ to cover most of capital from 2021

Those taking advantage of the scheme will be able to trade their pre-Euro 6 vans (typically those made before 2015) for compliant vehicles.

While precise details of the scheme are yet to be announced, the Mayor’s office said “thousands” of “micro-businesses” would benefit. Sadiq Khan himself said London has “lethal air” and his ULEZ represented the “bold action” necessary to tackle “a national health crisis that is stunting the lung development of our children and leading to thousands of premature deaths.”

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The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While initially focussed on a small area of central London, it will expand in October 2021 to encompass all areas within the North and South Circular.

AA president Edmund King welcomed the scrappage scheme, saying it gave small business owners “a route to cleaner vehicles, an escape from air quality charges, the chance to stay competitive in their trades and businesses, reduce customer costs and, above all, the means to cut street-level pollution”.

Khan’s office also called on Michael Gove – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – to match his funding and help low-income Londoners buy less polluting cars.

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