Petrol and diesel car ban launches in London: are you affected?

Only EVs, hybrids and hydrogen cars permitted on nine ‘ultra-low emissions streets’ during peak hours

Poor air quality causes almost 10,000 premature deaths across the capital each year 
(Image credit: 2013 Getty Images)

Drivers of petrol and diesel cars are banned from driving on some of London’s most polluted streets from today.

The boroughs of Hackney and Islington will allow only electric, hydrogen and the “cleanest” hybrid vehicles - those producing less than 75g/km of CO2 - to drive on certain streets between 7am and 10am, and from 4pm to 7pm, on weekdays, Auto Express reports.

Anyone caught flouting the ban in the so-called ultra-low emissions streets will be fined £130, says the London Evening Standard.

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Feryal Demirci, deputy mayor of Hackney, said the ban will “reclaim the streets from polluting petrol and diesel vehicles, and improve the area for thousands of people every day”, The Guardian reports.

“Failing to act on poor air quality, which causes nearly 10,000 premature deaths across London every year, is not an option, and that’s why we’re being bolder than ever in our efforts to tackle it,” Demirci added.

Which areas are affected?

The ban covers a total of nine streets, split between zones 1 and 2:

Zone 1

  • Blackall Street
  • Cowper Street
  • Paul Street (north of junction with Leonard Street)
  • Ravey Street
  • Singer Street
  • Tabernacle St (north of junction with Leonard Street)
  • Willow Street

Zone 2

  • Charlotte Road
  • Rivington Street (from junction with Curtain Road to junction with Great Eastern Street)

Will more streets be added?

It looks like it. According to the Evening Standard, the City of London Corporation is planning to introduce ultra-low emissions street restrictions on Moor Lane, near Moorgate, in April 2019.

London air quality chief Ruth Calderwood told the Financial Times last month that more streets may be added to the scheme in the near future, provided that the infrastructure for electric cars can support such a move.

“We want to make sure about the availability of vehicles. We don’t want to introduce something that’s going to be a problem,” she said.

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