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Last week’s London ULEZ deadline (October 25) has made a host of 1980s and 1990s classics unviable options for those living in much of the UK capital

The 18-fold expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is now in effect, making a host of 1980s and 1990s classics unviable to run in much of the Capital and leading to fears that they may be scrapped.

Plans for the ULEZ were laid out when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London and introduced by Sadiq Khan in April 2019, replacing the previous toxicity charge, known as T-charge. It currently covers the same Central London area subject to the Congestion Charge, but from Monday, October 25 has expanded to cover a much larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular roads.

Within six months, the original ULEZ was said to have cut toxic air pollution by a third in central London, so the expansion was somewhat inevitable. However, the scale of the increase is unprecedented, covering an area containing 3.8m people. It extends into Enfield in the north and Southwark in the south, as well as Newham in the east and Ealing in the west.

Unlike the Congestion Charge, the expanded ULEZ will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with vehicles that don’t meet Euro 6 standard for diesel or Euro 4 for petrol (roughly pre-2016 and pre-2006 respectively) facing a £12.50 daily charge or a whopping £160 fine if they don’t pay up, which halves to £80 if settled within 14 days.

Motorists driving older vehicles will still face a £15 congestion charge when entering Central London, meaning that some motorists may have to pay £27.50 to drive into Central London. Historic vehicles over 40 years old are exempt from the ULEZ charge, but that still leaves a lot of cars we’d consider as classics or modern classics entering what would seem likely to be their final chapter of service in the Capital.

Read more of this story on London ULEZ on Classics World

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