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Extract A: ULEZ: New pollution charge begins in London
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has come into force in central London. Drivers of older, more polluting
vehicles are being charged to enter the congestion zone area at any time. Transport for London (TfL) hopes
the move will reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital, and estimates about 40,000 vehicles will be
affected every day. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was "important we make progress" in tackling the
capital's toxic air.
However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said many small firms were "very worried about the
future of their businesses" as a result of the "additional cost burden". Most vehicles which are not compliant
will have to pay £12.50 for entering the area each day, in addition to the congestion charge.
Vehicles can be checked using TfL's online checker but broadly speaking, those which are non-compliant are:
Motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards (pre-2007 vehicles)
Petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (vehicles pre-2006)
Diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (vehicles pre-2015)
Buses, coaches and lorries will need to meet or exceed the Euro 6 standards or pay £100 a day
Anybody who does not pay the charge will face a fine of £160, although a first offence may result in only a
warning letter.
The ULEZ is set to be expanded to cover the entire area between the North and South Circular roads in 2021.
TfL estimates the initial scheme will lead to a reduction in toxic emissions from road transport by about 45%
in two years. Mr Khan said London's air pollution was a "public health emergency" and it was the "poorest
Londoners that suffer the worst quality air".
Taken from
Extract B: Shaun Bailey: Expanded Ulez will hurt poorer Londoners
Let us agree on one thing: We need to clean up London’s dirty air.
Clean air is a perennial problem for London. My grandparents and parents suffered pea soup fogs. I had
headaches in the days of leaded petrol. And today my boy and I struggle with asthma. We need strong action
to this killer problem, in central London and beyond.
To his credit, Sadiq Khan has adopted Boris Johnson’s plan for a central Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Ulez) and
is planning on expanding it to the North and South Circular Roads in 2021. I support the former but have
concerns over the latter. Here’s why.
If we’re going to shift people’s behaviour using expensive taxes (and the Ulez is £62.50 a week) there needs
to be an alternative for those without the means to get a new vehicle or pay. The central Ulez is relatively
fair to poorer Londoners because central London is well served by cheap public transport.
It is also home to the worst pollution. The central Ulez should help thin our horrible traffic, make our buses
a more attractive transport option and improve the quality of life where so many of us either live or work.
Zones 1 and 2 also have the necessary enforcement infrastructure in place; cameras already police the
congestion charge, so using the same tools to enforce a central Ulez is easy and inexpensive.
The same isn’t true in outer London, where the infrastructure will have to be built from scratch (at a cost of
£130 million), and where our transport network isn’t as comprehensive. Hitting Londoners — many of whom
are already struggling with the cost of living — with a tax on driving when they simply have no alternative is
unfair; especially when there are other ways we can clean up our air. A tax alone won’t do.
Top of the list is greening our fleet of almost 10,000 buses and our army of taxis. Hybrid taxis are now a
reality and more and more hybrid or low-emission buses are being rolled out too, but we need to move to
zero-emission technologies more quickly than by the current target date of 2037.
Instead of setting up the massive surveillance system we’ll need to make the bigger Ulez work we should be
spending that money expanding our green bus fleet and routes. We could also spend some of this cash
upgrading Tube lines. Taking these steps would put a huge dent in poor air quality.
Technology will also play its role. Electric vehicles are here and cities like London should be encouraging their
adoption with charging points and light-touch regulation that encourages new transport-sharing schemes.
To be sure, we need strong action. But in his rush to tax, Mr. Khan risks penalising a critical mass of Londoners
— especially poorer Londoners — many of whom simply don’t have the money to change their mode of
transport on a dime.
Extract C: Leading car buying website says the zone has upped interest - particularly for plug-in hybrids.
The introduction of London’s new ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) has triggered consumer interest
in electric and hybrid cars, according to one of Britain’s leading new-car websites.
Designed to improve air quality in the capital, the ULEZ sees vehicles failing to meet the required emissions
standards charged extra to enter the Congestion Charge zone. Petrol-powered cars must comply with at
least the Euro 4 standard to avoid the £12.50 charge, while diesels need to meet the much more recent Euro
6 standard.
Figures from Carwow show how the ULEZ’s arrival earlier this month caused noticeable spikes in Londoners’
searches for electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Inside the M25, Carwow says quote requests for
plug-in hybrid vehicles risen 25 percent since the beginning of April, while interest in electric cars has risen
14 percent. Demand for standard hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, also increased, but only by
around six percent.
Mat Watson, motoring expert at Carwow, said demand for plug-in vehicles was already increasing, but
changes in government policy produce pronounced fluctuations in consumer interest. “Even before ULEZ,
we’ve seen the demand for electric and plug-in hybrid increase significantly across all the UK’s major cities;
drivers are more aware than ever of their environmental impact and looking to go green, and the choices
for them in terms of models are widening so you no longer have to sacrifice on style. That said, financial
incentives, and in this case penalties, are proving a key factor in getting them to commit to the change.
“When analysing data, we can see dramatic spikes and drops in user searches for electric vehicles and plugin hybrids prompted by government grant changes, demonstrating that incentives do encourage drivers to
make the change. Slashing £1,000 off the grant amount for plug-in category 1 vehicles back in October 2018
and stopping grants for category 2 and 3 plug-in vehicles altogether in November led to increased interest
in the run up to the changes, and a clear drop after, so it was unsurprising to see that the prospect of paying
the fee has reignited the interest, particularly with a wider roll out in other cities potentially on the cards.”
Taken from
1. With reference to Extract C, explain how the introduction of the ULEZ has led to rising demand for
hybrid vehicles. Use a relevant diagram to support your answer. (5)
2. Using Extract A, explain how both car pollution and the ULEZ can have a regressive effect on society.
3. ‘If we’re going to shift people’s behaviour using expensive taxes (and the Ulez is £62.50 a week) there
needs to be an alternative for those without the means to get a new vehicle or pay.’ Discuss
alternative intervention that could be implemented to reduce pollution in London. (12)
4. Other than inequality, discuss the microeconomic and macroeconomic effects of the introduction of
the ULEZ in Central London in April 2019. Use your own knowledge and the information provided.