The Mayor of London has announced a major expansion of financial support designed to ease the impact of the capital’s ultra low emission zone (Ulez) on people’s pockets.
Sadiq Khan said every Londoner with a polluting car facing charges under Ulez will now be able to receive a grant of up to £2,000 to support an upgrade.
It comes after he was asked by Sir Keir Starmer to reflect on how the extension of Ulez to all London boroughs was being carried out.
The Labour leader blamed concerns around the scheme for his party’s narrow by-election defeat in Boris Johnson’s old Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat last month.
Mr Khan said while he will not “step back, delay or water down” the policy to tackle air pollution, he is widening the scrappage scheme after listening to residents’ unease about Ulez amid a cost-of-living crisis.
While previously only child benefit recipients, low-income and disabled people were eligible for scrappage grants, from August 21 all Londoners with non-Ulez compliant cars or motorcycles can apply.
The Labour incumbent in City Hall also announced that small businesses and sole traders can get £21,000 to junk up to three vans, with £27,000 available for charities to replace three minibuses.
More support kicking in on Friday includes higher payments for switching to an electric vehicle, for charities with old vans, and for retrofitting an existing vehicle. Grants for replacing wheelchair accessible vehicles will double to £10,000.
It comes ahead of the Ulez expansion to beyond the capital’s north and south circular roads on August 29.
Drivers of vehicles which do not meet minimum emissions standards are charged a £12.50 daily fee for entering the zone.
Mr 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.”