The Anonymous Widower

Effects Of The ULEZ In West London

This page on the Transport for London web site is entitled ULEZ Expansion 2023.

This is the first paragraph.

To help clear London’s air and improve health, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding across all London boroughs from 29 August 2023.

These are some points from the rest of the page.

  • Poor air quality is impacting the health of Londoners, and it’s mainly caused by polluting vehicles.
  • Air pollution even contributes to the premature death of thousands of Londoners every year.
  • 9 out of 10 cars seen driving in outer London already meet the ULEZ emissions standards.
  • If you drive anywhere within the ULEZ and your vehicle does not meet the emissions standards, you could face a daily charge of £12.50.
  • Residents of the ULEZ are not exempt from the charge.
  • Any money received from the scheme is reinvested into running and improving London’s transport network, such as expanding bus routes in outer London.

There is no reference to trucks or HGVs.

These are my thoughts.

Objections To The ULEZ

If you type ULEZ into Google and look at the News page, you get a lot of stories that don’t show the ULEZ in a good light.

Here are a few headlines.

  • BBC – ULEZ: Labour MPs Seek Support For Non-Londoners
  • BBC – Firms In Essex Could Close Due To ULEZ, Warns Business Leader
  • Big Issue – London’s Ulez Plans Could Hit Disabled People, Charities And Small Businesses The Hardest
  • Daily Mail – Sadiq Khan Claims That Nazis Have Infiltrated Anti-Ulez Protests
  • Guardian – EU Motorist Fined Almost £11,000 After Falling Foul Of London Ulez Rule
  • Guardian – London’s Mayor Faces High Court Challenge Over Ulez Expansion
  • Kent Live – Anti-ULEZ Campaign Group Support Soars As Kent Drivers ‘Unfairly Targeted’
  • LBC – No More Ulez? Sadiq Khan Considers Scrapping Controversial Scheme And Replacing It With ‘Pay-As-You-Drive’ System
  • Slough Observer – Ulez Faces High Court Challenge
  • Which? – Why It Could Cost £17.50 To Drop A Loved One At Heathrow This Summer

It looks like Sadiq Khan has fallen into a hole.

And he hasn’t stopped digging!

To make it worse, he has suggested a Pay-As-You-Drive System. I seem to remember, that a Dutch Prime Minister, who tried it, lost the next election.

But then Sadiq Khan likes tolls as the new Silvertown Tunnel and the Blackwall Tunnel will be tolled in a few years.

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is one of the world’s busiest airports and 76,000 people work at the airport, with many more employed nearby.

The airport handled 61.6 million passengers in 2022, which is a few short of 170,000 per day.

If you consider that those that work at the airport do two trips per day and passengers generally do one, that means there are 322,000 trips per day to or from the airport.

But as it now so easy to get to the Airport using the Elizabeth Line will more people use the new line to meet and greet and say goodbye to loved ones or business associates. Since the Elizabeth Line opened, I’ve met a couple of friends at Heathrow, who were passing through.

I wonder, if that daily journey total of 322,000 could be nearer to 350,000 or even 400,000.

If the ULEZ charge makes some passengers and staff switch from their car to using a bus or train, this probably means that public transport to and from the airport, will need to be boosted by a substantial amount.

But improving public transport to Heathrow wouldn’t be easy.

  • The Elizabeth Line seems to have put a big hole in the finances of Heathrow Express.
  • How many more trains can be squeezed into the Heathrow Tunnel?
  • The Western Rail Link to Heathrow would probably need to be built. But that seems to be in limbo.
  • New trains for the Piccadilly Line are a few years away.

It might have been better to build a different scheme for Western access to Heathrow like the Heathrow Southern Railway.

I suspect that there will be a lot more passengers on the Elizabeth Line to and from Heathrow.

A ULEZ For Heathrow

This article on fleetworld, from four years ago, is entitled Heathrow To Introduce Charging ULEZ In 2022.

It hasn’t happened, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be implemented in the future.

If it did happen, there would be more passengers for the Elizabeth Line.

The Elizabeth Line

I have written three posts about how busy the Western section of the Elizabeth Line can get.

Is there sufficient capacity to accommodate all the ULEZ-dodgers on the trains to and from Heathrow?

To make matters worse, there is a large Asian population from the Indian sub-continent living along the Elizabeth Line between Ealing Broadway and Reading.

  • They seem to be enthusiastic users of the line.
  • Having ridden several times on crowded Indian trains, perhaps using trains is very much part of South Asian culture.
  • I also suspect that a lot of Indian families have spread themselves along the line, just like my mother’s close family spread themselves along the 107 bus route.

In Very Busy Lizzie, I said this.

Reading needs four tph to Central London.

The ULEZ will make this even more essential.

The Piccadilly Line

The Piccadilly Line may be getting new trains, but it is not a line that is blessed with lots of step-free stations.

The West London Orbital Railway

It does appear that the West London Orbital Railway may be more likely to be built, than a few months ago.

In Is There Progress On The West London Orbital Railway?, I wrote about a report, that consultants were being chosen.

This railway could ease pressure on the railways in West London.

Cutting Pollution In London From Trucks

London like all big cities has a lot of trucks.

As the average truck has a much larger engine than the average car, I would suspect it gives out more pollution.

One way to cut pollution from large vehicles would be to run them on hydrogen.

But unlike some cities in the UK, London has no hydrogen policy and filling stations to fill them up.

The Mayor could at least get a workable hydrogen policy.


I suspect the next Mayor of London will have to have a rethink on the ULEZ and implement a hydrogen policy.



April 15, 2023 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] Effects Of The ULEZ In West London, I said this about meeting and greeting at […]

    Pingback by St. Pancras To Heathrow By Elizabeth Line « The Anonymous Widower | April 16, 2023 | Reply

  2. The Unite union is emphasising the reality that many Heathrow airport workers need to start or finish their shifts when public transport schedules are sparse and connections are relatively poor. This article summarises their plight. I presume that some members of the London City airport workforce live in parts of Essex and will face similar incentives to change jobs or seek salary rises if the ULEZ boundary precisely matches the geographic limits of Greater London.

    An upsurge of retail turnover, particularly (and job applications) in Beaconsfield, Bluewater, Epping, Lakeside, Redhill, Reigate, Slough, Swanley, Watford, etc might also be occasioned by such an enlargement of the ULEZ territory, particularly when households are reluctant to replace a polluting vehicle, or reduce their fleet size.

    The London Mayor seems more inclined to uprate orbital bus frequencies than to bolster radial (or looping services) that presently cross the Greater London boundary. Some of these serve hospitals (eg. Harefield and Darent Valley) where patients and their visitors might feel particularly aggrieved if they’re obliged to stand on crowded vehicles when former motorists shift mode.

    I hope these observations help,

    Kind regards, John Davison

    Comment by John Davison | April 16, 2023 | Reply

  3. Thanks! The current Mayor and TfL planners couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.

    Where I live in Hackney, we are on the main bus corridor to the Elizabeth Line and the rebuilt Bank station. As the Lizzie line doesn’t connect to the Piccadilly or Victoria Lines, those in North Hackney, Enfield, Haringey and parts of Waltham Forest need to use this bus corridor.

    So what does the Mayor do? He’s removed one of the bus routes, effectively halving the frequency. So now I have to stand most days on the buses to get to the City. The buses are even now full on a Sunday.

    The Mayor, like most lawyers, needs a course in practical mathematics.

    Remember my late wife was and our middle son is a lawyer. So who did they ask, for a mathematical view of a problem? Me!

    Comment by AnonW | April 17, 2023 | Reply

  4. […] Effects Of The ULEZ In West London, I said this about journeys to and from the […]

    Pingback by Elizabeth Line Takes Fliers Away From Heathrow Express « The Anonymous Widower | May 1, 2023 | Reply

  5. […] In Effects Of The ULEZ In West London, I said this about journeys to and from the airport. […]

    Pingback by A Waste Of Valuable Resources Between Paddington And Heathrow « The Anonymous Widower | May 21, 2023 | Reply

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