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UK to donate old polluting vehicles to Ukraine

The cars will be sent through the so-called Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme starting this week, the government says

London drivers will have the option of sending cars that do not adhere to the city’s rigorous emission standards to Ukraine in exchange for a grant instead of being retrofitted in the UK, the city authorities have announced.

The so-called Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage scheme, which has been promoted by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and is due to take effect on March 15, will allow excessively polluting vehicles to be donated to Ukraine for humanitarian and medical needs.

The London Ambulance Service is planning to join the effort by donating 50 decommissioned ambulances, according to a statement on the mayor of London’s website issued over the weekend.

“I have worked quickly to amend our scrappage scheme so that … non-compliant vehicles can be donated to Ukraine, helping to meet medical and humanitarian needs while also removing old, polluting vehicles from London’s roads,” said Khan. “There is still plenty of money left in the scrappage fund and I encourage anyone applying to consider donating their vehicle to this cause,” the mayor urged.

Christina Calderato, director of the city’s transport strategy and policy, has claimed that the £210 million ($269 million) scrappage scheme will help drivers transition to “more sustainable modes of transport, resulting in a cleaner, greener, capital.” 

According to previous media reports, the idea of donating British vehicles as part of the scrappage scheme to Ukraine was suggested to Khan by Kiev’s mayor, former boxer Vitaly Klitschko.

READ MORE: Ukraine wants retired British warships – navy chief

The ULEZ zone, launched by Khan in April 2019 to improve air quality in the British capital, has been gradually expanded to cover all 32 London boroughs. In March 2022, the local government body Transport for London estimated that 20,000 to 40,000 vehicles would be taken off the road due to the expansion.

Under the ULEZ scrappage scheme, people in London with vehicles that fall short of emission standards can claim up to £2,000 when their non-compliant cars are scrapped. Those who drive within the ULEZ zone in a vehicle that does not meet minimum emissions standards are required to pay a £12.50 daily fee or risk a £180 fine, which is reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days.


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