Press release: 21 October 2021

ULEZ expansion a “lifeline for Londoners”

From 25 October, the existing Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London will expand to take up the area within the North and South Circular roads, part of an effort to protect Londoners’ health from illegal air pollution.

Katie Nield, lawyer at environmental law charity ClientEarth, said: “Toxic air harms the health of too many Londoners every year and the reality is that it won’t disappear on its own. Evidence shows that measures like the ULEZ are the most effective way to reduce lethal and illegal air pollution quickly. That’s why the expansion is a lifeline for Londoners.

“Alongside the ULEZ, local and national governments need to provide the right help and support to make sure that people on lower incomes and small businesses are able to transition to cleaner forms of transport.

“The next step for the Mayor now is to ensure the ULEZ works for the whole of Greater London so it protects people’s health in all corners of the capital, while securing funds to support those who need it. Children from Croydon to Brent should be able to breathe the same cleaner air regardless of where they live. This is an environmental justice issue.”

ClientEarth has won three court cases against the UK Government over its failure to address the country’s chronic air pollution problem. As a result, ministers have ordered over 60 local authorities to come up with proposals to finally tackle pollution above legal limits in their areas; some have put clean air zones, which are based on London’s ULEZ, at the core of these plans.

Southwark resident Rudie said: “I am so excited that the expansion of the ULEZ will be happening in London this October. My son has had horrendous asthmatic episodes which cause him to have to take time off school. So cleaner air is vital for him to have a healthier future. By reducing air pollution where we live, I hope that the ULEZ expansion will help me worry less about the effect that vehicle emissions are having on his and other children's health. It will also hopefully improve our quality of life and allow us to enjoy our city as cleaner air will mean we can spend more time outside and walk more.”

Redbridge resident Lydia said: “Although I welcome the Mayor’s expansion of the ULEZ, which is a step in the right direction, I would like to see it cover all of Greater London as it doesn’t reach where we live. Like many people I know, especially parents, we are deeply concerned about air pollution levels in our area and across the city. We spend most of our time enjoying playgrounds in wonderful green spaces near our home, but both of our local parks are bordered by major roads -- the M11 and the North Circular -- and the fumes from the traffic speeding by are noticeably bad, so much so that my family are considering moving out of London entirely.”


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.