FOI request detail

Freedom of Information request - Awareness campaign for ultra low emission zone

Request ID: FOI-1809-1920
Date published: 10 October 2019

You asked

Freedom of Information request - Awareness campaign for ultra low emission zoneOn various social media sites you state that extensive awareness campaigns were undertaken to make drivers aware of its introduction. Please advise specifically what awareness campaigns were undertaken that would have informed those in the DE (Derbyshire) postal district.

We answered

TfL Ref: 1809-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 14 September 2019 asking for information about the Awareness campaign for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

London’s toxic air is a public health crisis and we’re committed to tackling it. The introduction of the ULEZ on 8 April 2019 and its expansion to the North and South Circulars in 2021 is not about making money, but about improving the health and wellbeing of thousands of Londoners.

Around half of London's air pollution is caused by road transport and there is no way to make a massive improvement to London’s air quality without taking the most polluting vehicles off the road. The majority of toxic road transport emissions come from cars, so we need to take action to encourage people to drive less and upgrade to cleaner vehicles

TfL has spent £1,595,667.77 on a multi- channel advertising campaign since May 2018 to July 2019 to prepare drivers for the implementation of the Ultra Low Emission Zone from 8 April 2019.  In addition to paid media, advertising messages ran on posters across the public transport network and at key roadside locations within London. Whilst TfL did not pay to access this media the value of the additional media used was £5,543,357.00.

The campaign targeted both private and commercial vehicle owners based within and outside London. The messaging explained where and how the ULEZ operated, which vehicles were affected, where to check their vehicle, how to pay the daily charge should their vehicle not meet the required emissions standards. At launch the vehicle checker on TfL’s website had been used more than 3.2m times by drivers.

We did not run any advertising in local press, posters or radio in Derbyshire but focussed our efforts on channels that would cost effectively reach as many drivers as possible.

The following channels were used to both raise awareness and provide detailed information:

  • National press ads in the following titles;

Daily Mail: national readership split versus London: 88.9% v 11.1%

Daily Mirror: national readership split versus London: 87.6% v 12.4%

The Sun: national readership split versus London: 86.4% v 13.6%

  • Specialist trade press ad appeared nationally in the following titles: Commercial motor, Truck and Driver, Bus and Coach Buyer, What Van, Fleet World, Van Fleet world, Motorcycle news
  • Radio adverts ran across 10 stations, which reach both London and a radius of 25 to 30miles around London subject to terrain.
  • Advertising on Petrol station screens and nozzles on routes into the ULEZ
  • Google search adverts have directed those interested to the TfL website for further information.
  • Over 600,000 letters have been sent to owners of non-compliant GB registered vehicles driven within the central London area since last October 2018. The letter explained the new ULEZ, where it would operate, the daily charge and directing recipients to the TFL website to find out more.  Over 5.3m emails were sent out to customers registered with TfL. This includes owners of cars, lorries and coaches amongst other vehicles.
  • 32 Electronic variable message board were deployed with messaging explaining the ULEZ launched 8 April and in operation 24/7 on key roads outside the central zone.
  • Signage was installed and in use in advance of the ULEZ being implemented. Early waning signage was installed at entrances to the zone from 4 weeks prior explaining the ULEZ was coming 8 April 2019, followed by permanent road signs at every entry point along the boundary and along key arterial approaches. They sit next to existing Congestion Charge signs.
  • TfL stakeholder team worked closely with the following national organisations to answer questions and ensure they were provided with all necessary information; Confederation of British Industry, Road Haulage Association, The Federation of Small Businesses, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, The Freight and Transport Association, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry



  • Tfl Press Office delivered press coverage across a broad range of media including BBC national and London news, ITV news, ITV London news, on topical shows such as Good Morning Britain and in all national newspapers



  • The Mayor of London was a guest on a number of radio shows, including BBC radio and LBC answering questions in relation to the Ultra Low Emission Zone  



  • Tweets from @Tfl has been promoted to London drivers with information on the boundary map and the vehicle checker

  • Advertising ran on the back of TfL Buses
  • 32 London regional press titles, Evening Standard, Metro, City Am
  • Online videos targeted London drivers via third party websites
  • Partnership with Waze (a wayfinding driving app) making 1M London drivers aware of the new ULEZ boundary
  • Posters (large digital formats, roadside and bus shelter and posters on the Underground and the Overground)
  • Information on ULEZ has been included on Congestion charge receipt's with details of ULEZ launch date

Post the launch of the ULEZ we continued to advertise explaining that the ULEZ had arrived and how to pay the charge on 8 radio channels and emails were sent to 1.9m customers registered on the TfL database.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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