The ULEZ has been in place since April 2019, previously only covering the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge it now includes all areas within the North and South Circular roads allegedly in an attempt to boost air quality.

London’s pollution charge zone for older vehicles has been significantly expanded, affecting tens of thousands of motorists leaving drivers of vehicles which do not comply with minimum emissions standards being charged £12.50 to drive in the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which became 18 times larger on Monday.

So who will not have to pay the charge, petrol cars must meet Euro 4 emissions standards to be ULEZ compliant and most if not all, petrol cars registered since January 2006 meet these standards together with almost every diesel car registered since September 2015, which actually means all cars older than 2006 and all diesel cars older than 2015 will have to pay considerably more to drive should they need to travel to London.

Unfortunately none of my modern cars most of which are 2002/03 will be exempt, although my classics which are cars over 40 years old will not have to pay but as driving a 1947 motorcar in London is an absolutely dreadful experience, one tries never to venture into the Capital.

This leaves me back where I started when the Congestion Charge was first introduced except I now have a considerably larger no-go area in London to avoid or a much lager payment of £27.50 should I go into both zones.

Now I’m loathe to give any money to the awful car hating Mayor of London so I am forced to drive round the Capital and spend my money elsewhere, I have no idea how much pollution I have created by having to drive such a long way round and I have a nasty feeling it will only be a matter of time before we have to take an even bigger diversion when the ULEZ extends to the M25.

I wish the future were bright but I fear not, for I foresee an increase in the use of electric vehicles by a small minority of people with sufficient funds to purchase one, although Lord alone knows where the electricity to charge them is coming from, and the rest of us who either do not want, or cannot afford to get rid of a perfectly decent motorcar whilst the world is awash with fuel.

I’m glad it’s not my idea of progress!

ULEZ 2021 Map - The Ultra Low Emission Zone Map in London

About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother who had dementia, hence the lack of acting work but shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
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