Getty london traffic

Source: Getty Images

Clean transport group Transport & Environment UK (T&E) says its latest analysis of Department for Energy Security and Net Zero statistics shows that ULEZ is working in London.

Figures reveal that sales of diesel have fallen significantly in London and the fall in sales is outpacing all other regions in the UK. Numbers suggest sales fell nearly 40% in London over the past four years, compared to 20% in other regions.

In 2019, London introduced the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) which charges older, more polluting cars a fee to enter the city.

T&E UK said that the decline in the sale of diesel fuel has had a marked impact on air pollution and the changes in NO2 levels on London’s roads between 2021 and 2022 show marked improvements across the board. It also said that because the UK is a net importer of diesel, the ULEZ measures are having a positive effect on energy security.

The Group said it sees no reason why other regions across the UK could not introduce clean air measures and, at a national level, rules specifically targeted at reducing diesel use need to be considered.

Matt Finch, UK policy manager at T&E, said: “Regardless of the impact of the ULEZ on air pollution, this data shows the remarkable impact clean air zones can have on energy and trade. Diesel is another dirty fossil fuel that the UK has found itself reliant on imports for, often from countries with undemocratic governments that have poor human rights records. The smart move would be to follow London’s lead, stop burning imported dirty diesel and switch to using clean British electrons as quickly as possible.”

Oliver Lord, UK head of Clean Cities Campaign, said: “We’ve known for years that diesel fumes are ruining our lives so it’s inspiring to see this change in London, but the bottom line is we won’t breathe freely until diesel engines are ditched for good. With the right commitment, coordination and leadership from all levels of government our cities can be almost free of diesel by 2030, but only when coupled with the support to make that happen and especially for small businesses.”