Since the end of January, the vehicle scrappage scheme has committed nearly £18m to low-income and disabled Londoners, and small businesses and charities to help them take some of the most polluting vehicles from London’s roads.
While £13.5m has been allocated for drivers of vans and minibuses, the majority going to help small businesses, more than £4m has been committed to Londoners who own non-compliant cars and motorcycles.
Overall, 4,833 applications have been approved through the scheme, with £17,727,500 committed to date.
Based on previous schemes, there is usually an increase in applications closer to implementation. With just over four months to go until the ULEZ expands, there are still tens of millions of pounds left in the scrappage fund and TfL continues to advise drivers to check their vehicle’s compliance and make the most of the Mayor’s scrappage scheme.
Drivers have been heeding TfL’s advice to check their vehicle’s compliance, with more than 8m visits to TfL’s vehicle checker since the Mayor confirmed that the ULEZ would expand. With most petrol vehicles under 16 years old and diesel vehicles under six years old already meeting the emission standards, many drivers have been discovering that their vehicles are compliant with the ULEZ.
The £110m scrappage scheme was launched to support smaller businesses, sole traders, charities, Londoners on lower incomes and disabled Londoners in replacing their older, more polluting vehicles with greener options. The scheme helps Londoners on lower incomes or who receive disability benefits scrap cars and motorcycles, and sole traders, micro-business or charities scrap or retrofit vans and minibuses.
More Londoners could be eligible for the scheme on the on the basis of their income than they realise. Eligibility can vary depending on personal circumstances, such as whether they live alone or have children, but regardless, eligibility is more likely for those renting their homes.
Analysis shows that many people could be eligible for scrappage who don’t realise it and TfL urges everyone to check the TfL website to see if they can access the scheme.
The London-wide ULEZ is vital to tackle the triple challenges of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion. The latest TfL data shows that 90 per cent of cars seen driving in outer London on an average day already meet the standards. This is expected to be even higher when the scheme goes live later this year.
Deputy Mayor for Environment & Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “Around 4,000 Londoners die every year as a result of our poor quality air, and it contributes to a range of serious health conditions from asthma, to cancer, to dementia.
“While nine in 10 cars seen driving daily in outer London are already ULEZ-compliant, I’m pleased that thousands of owners of non-compliant vehicles have already applied to our scrappage scheme.
“My message to Londoners today is that there is plenty of funding still available and you may be entitled to the scrappage scheme and not realise it. So I urge people to go online today and see if they could also be eligible for thousands of pounds to scrap their polluting vehicle.”
Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Strategy and Policy said: “It is great to see that scrappage grants are already playing a significant role in supporting smaller businesses, those on low incomes, disabled people and charities to get ready for the expansion.
“While the vast majority of cars driving in outer London on an average day are compliant, I urge drivers to use our vehicle checker and if they have a non-compliant vehicle, check their eligibility for the scrappage scheme to help them make the switch to greener and cleaner travel.”
Alex Achilleos, Managing Director of Inside Out Eventz Ltd based in the London Borough of Enfield, said: “We provide catering services for weddings, functions and corporate events. Our vans are a vital tool in helping us source ingredients and supplies along with transporting our food and equipment on time for a seamless event. The scrappage scheme has enabled us to take one of our older, polluting vans off the road and buy one that meets the ULEZ standards. As a family business we are pleased to be able to contribute to the action that is being taken to clean up the capital’s toxic air and protect the health of future generations.”
Tuan Pham, Director of the Samuel Montagu Youth Centre based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “We provide vital services to young people in Kidbrooke and around London. Our centre helps people who might be at risk of being excluded from school or lack opportunities to achieve their full potential. We give young people confidence through a wide range of sporting programmes, including boxing sessions. We use a minibus to transport those who use our centre to various sporting fixtures and events. The scrappage scheme has allowed us to take our vehicle off the road and provide us with money towards one that meet the standards. Our work focuses on setting up people for the future, so we are pleased to be able to make this contribution to improving environment.”
The £110m scrappage scheme builds on the previous £61m scrappage scheme that helped to remove more than 15,200 older, more polluting vehicles from London’s roads. The evaluation survey of the Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme showed it was effective in reducing vehicle ownership, with a third of respondents not purchasing a replacement vehicle. The previous scrappage scheme also helped to increase public transport use, with survey respondents reporting a decrease in car travel and an increase in walking, cycling and public transport use.
While there are many compliant vans on the market, owners of non-compliant vans and wheelchair accessible vehicles do not need to buy a new van and may be eligible for a £5,000 grant to retrofit their vehicle and make it is compliant with the standards. This will ensure that more sole traders, smaller business, charities and disabled Londoners can use less polluting vehicles and fewer vans need to be scrapped. All vehicles that are scrapped through the scheme are required have a target of at least 95 per cent recycling and recovery, and are more likely to be towards the end of their working life as newer vehicles would have more resale value.
In addition to providing a grant for scrapping or retrofitting a polluting vehicle, individuals can choose to receive up to two annual bus and tram passes in addition to a lower grant for a higher value package. The scheme also provides access to a range of exclusive offers and offers for Londoners not eligible for the scheme. TfL has secured a range of great deals that can help save money and use greener, cleaner forms of transport. Money can be saved on things like hire and subscription services for bikes, e-bikes, cargo bikes and e-scooters and discounts on car clubs.