ULEZ changes for Disabled drivers announced

Tue,22 August 2023
News Climate change Transport
Dr Kush Kanodia, a trustee for Inclusion London and the Deputy Chair for the Greater London Regional Stakeholder Network (Disabled voices of Greater London) has been working with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and for TFL as part of the Disability Unit, focusing on ULEZ and its implications for the capitals Disabled and care communities.

The ULEZ is the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, a traffic restriction scheme designed to improve air quality in the capital. ULEZ is being implemented to help improve air quality in London by reducing the amount of pollution that vehicles produce.

Through campaigning in partnership with Inclusion London, Dr Kanodia has succeeded in increasing the grants for non-compliant Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles for disabled people for ULEZ from £5,000 to £10,000.

The mayor has also confirmed that additional support will be available to charities with increased payments available for minibuses from £7,000 to £9,000. 

These new commitments are in addition to the further reasonable adjustments Mr Kanodia won in January 2023 for disabled people during the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

Other changes to policy on ULEZ include:

  • Over 1/4 million disabled people are now exempt (DWP Benefits included)
  • Disabled people whose vehicles are registered with the DVLA as having 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicle' tax class benefit from a grace period which exempts them from paying the ULEZ charge until 24 October 2027. This is valid as long as their vehicle doesn't change tax class.

Dr Kanodia said: ‘I am grateful to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London for listening to some of the concerns from disabled Londoners for ULEZ. It is great news for the disabled community and shows campaigns from disabled people can have a significant impact to change the policy in Greater London”.

“However, the truth is that it has taken them nearly three years to implement these reasonable adjustments and there are still no exemptions for Blue Badge holders. Glasgow has exempted blue badge holders from their Low Emission Zone, so why can’t London for ULEZ?”

Dan White, policy, and campaigns officer at Disability Rights UK said: “This is great work from Dr Kanodia and our colleagues at Inclusion London. The expansion of the ULEZ must consider the mobility needs of the capitals Disabled and care communities, as using private vehicles is sometimes the only reliable and accessible way to navigate the capital, which still lags behind in terms of accessible tube and rail stations.”