The expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the Surrey border affects attractions like Hampton Court Palace, some of which is on the charge boundary.
ULEZ, introduced by Transport for London to improve air quality in the capital, sees drivers of non-compliant cars charged to enter the area it covers.
Hampton Court Palace, located alongside the Thames and just over Hampton Court Bridge from Surrey is largely inside the new London ULEZ however some routes from its car park avoid charges.
The A308 towards Staines and the M3 forms the border of the ULEZ, meaning cars travelling along it are not passing into the zone.
Therefore non-compliant cars will not need to pay the daily charge of £12.50, and those driving to Hampton Court Palace will not be in the zone on entering the landmark’s car park.
However the exit from the palace’s car park is on the other side of the roundabout, where Hampton Court Road continues towards Kingston, and is just inside the charging zone.
According to a camera map on ulez.co.uk, the first camera on the A308 is further up the road, on the corner with Campbell Road.
This means drivers coming out of the car park and turning left to go back towards the roundabout, as they would need to, may not be caught entering the zone.
In response to a query on Twitter about driving to and from the palace in the newly-extended zone, Historic Royal Palaces said: “Hampton Court Palace and its car park are within ULEZ, however if you are driving from outside of London into our car park and back out again you will not be seen by the enforcement camera and will not be charged – provided you don’t re-enter the zone.”
A link was included to the TfL site to check whether or not a car meets the emissions standards, and would therefore need to pay the charge.
What would Henry VIII have made of a tax like the ULEZ charge?
in addition to non-Parliamentary “benevolences” he exacted from the wealthy he did impose a tax on all beards, except his own. So maybe the vagaries of ULEZ would have been to His liking.
A Historic Royal Palaces spokesperson said: “Our priority is to continue to provide clear information for visitors, to inform the decisions they make about travel to and from Hampton Court Palace. We will continue to work with TFL to ensure that we provide the most up to date information on this.”
The ULEZ is in force 24 hours a day, midnight to midnight, every day of the year, except for Christmas Day.
According to TfL, nine out of ten cars seen driving in outer London already meet the ULEZ emissions standards.
Since its introduction, TfL said the ULEZ had already helped to reduce nitrogen dioxide pollution by nearly half in central London and by a fifth in inner London.
Several Surrey councils objected to the expansion of the zone, calling for a scrappage scheme to be extended to Surrey residents and for more exemptions.
Image: Luke Nicolaides CC BY-SA 2.0