Travellers heading to Heathrow Airport are being cautioned about the introduction of the ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) and the potential charges they may face. Starting next week, drivers of older, more polluting vehicles will be subject to a fee of £12.50 as the Ulez is expanded to the boundaries of the M25. This means that residents of Greater London as well as those living in the surrounding home counties will be affected if they need to cross the zone for work or leisure purposes.
Heathrow Airport will be situated within the expanded Ulez area, meaning individuals with older cars, including passengers and their friends or relatives, will have to pay £12.50 to reach the airport. Additionally, they will be required to pay a £5 entry fee and a minimum of £5 for parking.
Road signs have been put up near the airport to alert drivers to their entry into the Ulez zone. Failure to pay the fees within three days can result in a fine of £180, which can be reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.
Mayor Sadiq Khan supports the Ulez scheme, stating that it is necessary to save lives given that pollution costs the city’s healthcare system up to £3.7 billion annually. As part of the initiative, City Hall has implemented a £160 million scrappage scheme that offers grants to drivers who replace their non-compliant vehicles with less polluting models. Mayor Khan has expressed discontent with the government’s lack of support for London’s scrappage scheme.
While Transport for London (TfL) has sought to install Ulez warning signs in the neighbouring Tory-run boroughs, six out of the seven boroughs have refused to permit their installation.