London launches £110m polluting vehicle scrappage scheme

London launches £110m polluting vehicle scrappage
London launches £110m polluting vehicle scrappage scheme

Grants worth up to £9,500 available to help businesses and charities switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of ULEZ expansion

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today announced a major new vehicle scrappage scheme designed to help tackle air pollution across the capital. The £110m programme will give businesses, charities, and sole traders up to £9,500 to replace or retrofit vehicles that do not comply with the capital's extended Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ).

Described by City Hall as the UK's biggest ever scrappage scheme, the initiative will also provide cash grants worth up to £2,000 for Londoners on lower incomes and with non-means tested disabilities to scrap their non-compliant cars and motorcycles and replace them with cleaner models.

Successful applicants will also have the option to receive a lower cash grant alongside two years of discounted annual bus and tram passes - a package City Hall said represented "higher value" than the grant alone.

Charities, sole traders, and business with fewer than 10 employees registered in London can apply for a £5,000 grant to scrap a van, £7,000 to scrap a minibus, £5,000 to retrofit certain vans or minibuses, and between £7,500 and £9,000 to scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle.

Under the plans, disabled people who want to scrap or retrofit a non-compliant wheelchair accessible vehicle will be able to apply for grants of £5,000. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan conceded that extending the ULEZ from central to outer London last autumn had been a "difficult decision", but stressed it had been necessary on public health grounds.

"The health of Londoners must come first," he said. "I know that expanding the ULEZ London-wide, alongside this £110m scrappage scheme, will help us to continue building a greener, fairer and healthier London for everyone".

Khan added that polluting vehicles were damaging the health of all Londoners, including drivers. "The rising cost of living has been a key consideration for me, which is why we are launching this new and improved scrappage scheme - the biggest ever - to help low-income and disabled Londoners, businesses, sole traders and charities switch to cleaner vehicles, or support them to make the most of other transport options," he said.

City Hall stressed that central government had not given any funding to support the capital's scrappage scheme, despite having provided funds for similar initiatives in other cities, including Birmingham, Bristol, and Portsmouth.

* This article was originally published here