Travel businesses have recently been advised to warn their clients about extra hidden charges that they could soon face when driving to Heathrow Airport following the extension of London’s ULEZ that will soon include the airport in question.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that currently covers some parts of London is due to be expanded to the entirety of the capital city on the 29th of August 2023, introducing new and reportedly hidden charges for drivers. The ULEZ means that vehicles that don’t meet the European emissions standards will be required to pay a fee of £12.50 per day in order to travel through the ULEZ.
According to reports, Transport for London (TfL) has provided an estimate that per average day, around 160,00 cars and 42,000 vans using the roads of London may be liable for these hidden charges in the ULEZ following the start date in August.
Because of the expansion of the zone in August, Heathrow Airport, a major UK airport for many travellers around the country, will be included in the ULEZ following August’s bank holiday Monday. This means that drivers who don’t have compliant cars will be under obligation to pay these hidden charges just for driving to and from the airport. Many travellers, however, may not be aware of these fees preceding this change, prompting the encouragement of travel agents to warn their clients on the matter.
The head of road policy at the AA, Jack Cousens, said, “Drivers and taxi firms from outside London will be hit with a hidden charge, so Heathrow, TfL and travel agents need to tell holidaymakers about the charge.”
Based on the analysis of the motoring organisation, it is estimated that around 10,000 cars per day that travel to and from Heathrow Airport could be liable to these fees, many of whom may be unaware of the fees. This estimate is based on 100,000 cars that use Heathrow Airport daily, which shows that around 11% of all vehicles are not compliant with the European emissions standards.
Heathrow representatives spoke on the matter and clarified that they would begin to communicate the expansion of the ULEZ and the extra hidden charges to come closer to the time of expansion in August. The TfL commented and went on to state that the ULEZ is enforced throughout London based on the emissions of the vehicle rather than its age, according to statistics provided over 4 in 5 vehicles already meet the emissions standards.
Those who refuse to pay the ULEZ charge, however, have been warned that there is a £180 penalty for not paying this charge, a penalty that will be reduced to £90 if it is paid within 14 days of the charge. All the money that is made through the ULEZ scheme is then reinvested into the improvement of London’s transport network, like expanding the bus routes provided in outer London.
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