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London: Europe's most expensive low emission zone?

Drivers are being asked to pay another additional £3.5 per day to keep public transport out of bankruptcy. This is despite the fact that there is already a congestion charge and the low emission zone charge for drivers in London.

Transport for London (TfL) is facing hard times. Due to the Corona pandemic, there were losses of 40 per cent in the current year. Plans to save local transport range from closing certain stations, to dropping the Night Tube and "Boris bikes" for hire, to scrapping free travel for pensioners. An alternative idea is to introduce a daily £3.5 charge for motorists who want to enter the English capital from outside London's 33 boroughs.

This is also necessary because the state returns far too small a share of the revenue generated by vehicles in the capital to the very same, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Londoners pay about £500 million in vehicle excise duty every year. However, it is mainly the infrastructure outside the metropolis that benefits from this. Therefore, the maintenance of London's roads is also financed by TfL revenues. And since public transport is running out of money, drivers from outside the city would now have to contribute to support TfL.

The charge will be levied in two years at the earliest. But already next year, motorists in the English metropolis will be faced with innovations: The Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London is expected to be extended in autumn. Registration before entering will continue to be required for tourists as well. After a single warning, it can otherwise be expensive. Fines amount to up to 1160 €.

The one-time purchase of an environmental badge makes it comparatively easy for drivers in Germany and other European countries such as Austria or France. Even diesel driving bans, which usually only affect a few roads, are still a mild sentence. But if the cities fail to get a grip on air pollution and traffic congestion, German motorists, for example, could be threatened with congestion charges or other additional fees on top of the stickers.

You can find all the information on the British environmental zones on our website and, of course, in our Green Zones app.