A politician has praised residents for swapping to greener vehicles as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is launched but says people still need to be “careful” about driving.

As of today, owners of vehicles driving in central London which do not meet certain emissions standards must pay a daily charge of £12.50. The zone will be expanded to the North and South Circular Roads in October 2021.

It is likely that anyone who owns a car built before 2005 will have to pay the ULEZ charge.

According to comparison site GoCompare, 1,557 people in Barnet switched their cars to vehicles that are compliant with ULEZ emissions standards – the second highest number of people out of all London boroughs.

David Farbey, Green Party member and the prospective parliamentary candidate for Chipping Barnet, praised people in Barnet for their efforts.

Mr Farbey said: “I welcome the ULEZ but also think it’s only the first step in reducing pollution in London and there’s still loads more that needs to be done.

“It’s good news that people are making sure their cars are compliant with ULEZ standards, but people should also be careful every time they use their cars.

“People should think about whether using a car is the best thing to do.”

Mr Farbey warned that friction caused by tyres when people drive also causes pollution, adding: “Just making cars compliant is not reducing all types of pollution.

“We need to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport whenever we can.”

The borough with the highest number of people swapping to ULEZ compliant vehicles was Westminster, which saw 1,843 switching their vehicles over three years.

Merton saw the third highest number of people switch to ULEZ compliant vehicles with 1,113 people going for greener options.