How do Ulez cameras work and how many are in London?

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) is set to be expanded across all London boroughs in August affecting hundreds of thousands of new drivers.

The Ulez area comes with a daily charge for driving vehicles that do not meet emission standards in a bid to create a greener city.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the ULEZ as ‘transformational’ and claimed extending it will mean ‘five million more people will be able to breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives’.

To manage the ULEZ zone, Transport for London (TfL) uses cameras across central and greater London to monitor which cars enter and exit the Ulez.

But how do they work, and how many are there? This is what you need to know.

How do Ulez cameras work?

Ulez cameras record your number plate, which is then checked against a database to see if your vehicle needs to be charged for entering the Ulez zone.

If you haven’t prepaid for your journey, you will be alerted about the charge a few days after and you will be asked to pay it within 21 days.

There are multiple ways to pay for a ULEZ, including through the CAURA app that you can download on your smartphone which also allows you to pay for other city charges and tolls.

You can pay the charge by midnight on the third day following the journey or up to 90 days in advance, according to TfL.

The daily cost is £12.50 for cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses.

Those that fail to pay will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

The cameras are on constantly, operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week – so there is no avoiding them if you enter the Ulez zone.

How many Ulez cameras are in London?

As of March 3, 2023, there are 1,400 cameras used for Ulez enforcement.

Please note that some cameras are used for enforcing more than one road user charging scheme, for example the Congestion Charging Zone and Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

Certain entrances and exits in the Ulez zone are not monitored by cameras, but these locations have not been disclosed.

The original Ulez area is where most of the cameras reside. This area incorporates the A501 in the north, A1210 in the east, Tower Bridge Road and the A201 in the south, the A3204 and Vauxhall Bridge road, and the A4202 in the east.

If you’re curious about where the Ulez cameras are, you can use this online tool to check where you can find any of the known camera locations.

It shows a map of London and the location of the cameras using coloured dots to show you exactly where they are, down to the road they are situated.

Knowing where the cameras are can help you plan journeys if you want to avoid the Ulez zone and the charges that come with it.

MORE : Is Heathrow Airport included in the ULEZ expansion?

MORE : Is my car ULEZ compliant? Find out who needs to pay the £12.50 fee

MORE : Do you still have to pay Ulez if you live inside the zone?

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