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Over 5,500 polluting vehicles scrapped through London City Hall schemes

5,740 polluting vehicles have been taken off the roads through City Hall’s scrappage schemes so far, new figures have revealed.


Over 5,500 polluting vehicles scrapped through London City Hall schemes feat

The data which covers cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses and heavy goods vehicles, was obtained by Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, and Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, Leonie Cooper AM, from a written question to the Mayor of London.

Ms Cooper is now asking the Government to urgently introduce a national scrappage scheme to supplement the progress being made in London. This comes as the Prime Minister has announced proposals to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2030.

Since 2018, the Mayor has invested millions into a series of scrappage schemes helping businesses, charities and low-income Londoners upgrade their vehicles to comply with stricter emissions standards under the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The latest data shows that 79% of vehicles within the Central London ULEZ are in line with these standards.

The ULEZ, which is set to expand to the North and South Circulars in October 2021, has contributed towards a 94% reduction in the number of Londoners living in areas exposed to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, according to a City Hall report.

A recent study led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London has revealed that vehicle pollution can increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.

An earlier study conducted by Kings’ College London indicates that exposure to toxic air is a contributing factor in the premature deaths of almost 10,000 Londoners per year.

The ULEZ is a distinct scheme from the congestion charge. Only around 1 in 5 vehicles are liable to pay a charge if their vehicle does not comply with its stricter emissions standards. In contrast, the congestion charge affects most vehicles on London’s roads and does not have any associated scrappage schemes.

The Mayor successfully argued against a proposed expansion of the Congestion Charge Zone to the North and South Circulars during negotiations surrounding a second emergency funding package for Transport for London (TfL). The ULEZ aims to reduce emissions, whereas the congestion charge targets the number of cars of the capital roads.

Labour’s London Assembly Environment Spokesperson, Leonie Cooper AM, said:

“It’s so encouraging to see this level of uptake amongst Londoners, business and charities doing their bit to help clean up London’s toxic air by upgrading their older, more polluting vehicles.

“Amongst other measures introduced by City Hall, the ULEZ has been a big success story so far, helped along by these scrappage schemes.

“Now that the Prime Minister is finally behind banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, he must back this up with the introduction of a nationwide scrappage scheme- following in the footsteps of London”.

More information about City Hall’s scrappage schemes can be found here


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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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