The expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is operated by Capita, on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), has today launched in London.
The ULEZ is a world leading scheme and a key part of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and TfL’s strategy to make the city a more attractive place to live and work by reducing traffic and air pollution. Capita has operated the Central London ULEZ since April 2019. In August 2020, Capita secured an extension and variation to their existing contract with TfL to deliver the expansion of the zone up to but not including London’s North Circular and South Circular roads.
Capita has harnessed its digital transformation as well as system and service integration capabilities to migrate the existing infrastructure and applications to the Cloud to scale up the system for significantly higher road user volumes post the scheme launch.
Capita has also recruited and trained nearly 800 new employees based near the West Midlands and Sheffield. The new colleagues have been recruited to provide the additional support required to operate the expanded zone. Capita’s teams operate the call centre and the processing of end-to-end customer transactions from camera to payment. The teams also maintain, support and integrate the IT applications and infrastructure for all road user charging schemes in London, including the expanded ULEZ.
The ULEZ requires any vehicle active within it needs to meet strict emissions standards or the driver of the vehicle must pay a daily charge to drive within it. The expansion of ULEZ will broaden the benefits of the Central London ULEZ, which has nearly halved roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels since 2019, and once again serve as another example of how London investment can benefit the rest of the UK.
Research shows that in 2019, more than 4,000 deaths were estimated to be attributable to air pollution in London1 and that deprived communities were more likely to be exposed to higher levels of pollutants, such as NO22 .
Al Murray, Managing Director and Client Partner Justice, Central Government and Transport, Capita Public Service, said:
“We’re proud to play our part in the launch and operation of the expanded ULEZ. Despite the pressures of the pandemic, teams from across Capita have worked in partnership with TfL and our supply chain to deliver the very significant cloud migration, scale the existing platforms and bring new team members on board to ensure the service is ready to launch.
“The launch of the expanded ULEZ is a significant milestone for London. The enlarged zone will reduce the number of polluting vehicles on our streets, cut air pollution levels and, most importantly, improve the health of Londoners. London is already feeling the benefits of ULEZ and over time this will continue to improve air quality.”
Alex Williams, TfL's Director of City Planning, said:
“London’s toxic air is a crisis that requires bold action right now. The expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone is vital if we are to help prevent more premature deaths and serious health conditions, as well as tackle the pressing issue of the climate emergency. The central ULEZ that launched in April 2019 was a world first and has already seen harmful nitrogen dioxide slashed by 44 per cent. Today’s expansion of the zone will see the whole city breathing cleaner air.
“More than 20 million motorists have already checked the compliance of their vehicle since 2018, and if you still unsure please use our checker. We are now seeing 87 per cent vehicles in the zone meeting the standard, this is much than we would have expected if the scheme hadn’t been introduced, and it highlights how the scheme has already been effective in cleaning up London’s air. For those liable for the charge, we would ask them to consider walking and cycling where possible, or using public transport. If they do need to drive, car clubs with ULEZ-compliant vehicles, or switching to a cleaner vehicle, are the best options.”
Notes to editors:
1. Imperial College London Projects, London Health Burden of Current Air Pollution and Future Health Benefits of Mayoral Air Quality Policies, 25 January 2021, Read more.
2. Air Quality Consultants Ltd, Air Pollution and Inequalities in London: 2019 Update, 12 October 2021, Read more.
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