Expanded ULEZ could save Hackney NHS millions, study says

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visiting the Olympic Office Centre, Wembley, where vaccinations began on January 18

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - Credit: PA/Yui Mok

A study has revealed the mayor of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) could save Hackney's local NHS over £74 million by 2050. 

Research commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) shows the cumulative effects of the ULEZ could save Hackney's local NHS millions and the country-wide service £4 billion over the next 29 years. 

The ULEZ was introduced by TfL in 2019 to help improve air quality in the capital, and is set to expand on October 25 this year.

It operates 24 hours a day and all through the week, and currently covers the same geographical area as the Congestion Charge in London, charging most vehicles to drive within the zone if they do not meet ULEZ emissions standards.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:  “I am proud of the bold steps I’ve taken to protect Londoners from the deadly consequences of filthy air.

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"The introduction of the ULEZ is a game-changer in our fight."

The new London-wide scheme will cover areas of Hackney, Islington and neighbouring boroughs to create a single, larger zone up to but not including the North Circular Road and South Circular Road.

The study, published by HealthLumen in 2020, predicts if nothing is done, that air pollution could cost London's NHS and social care system up to £15.4 billion by 2050 and cause over 850,000 new diseases.

Current London-wide Low Emission Zone in yellow and ULEZ expansion in light green. 

Current London-wide Low Emission Zone in yellow and ULEZ expansion in light green. - Credit: GLA

However, the study suggests the ULEZ will reduce pollution-related diseases by 29.5 per cent in the next 30 years and predicts it could help Hackney avoid thousands of cases of illness.

A separate report from the GLA has also indicated that before coronavirus restrictions were introduced last year, levels of nitrogen dioxide in central London had reduced by 44pc compared to the same period in 2017.

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Sem Moema, assembly member candidate for North East, said:  “Protecting the health of Londoners in Hackney is a top priority.

"That is why I am encouraged by the results of this study suggesting many lives could be saved across Hackney as a result of the mayor’s action to tackle toxic air."

To learn more about the ULEZ, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/ulez-expansion

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