Mayor's Plan To Bring ULEZ Forward 'Risks Financial Hardship'

Federation of Small Businesses responds to Ultra Low Emission Zone consultation

Mayor Plans to Introduce Daily Charge for Older Cars in London

A lobby group for small businesses has criticised the Mayor's decision to bring forward the introduction of a measure which aims to improve air quality in London.

Responding to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) consultation which closed on 25 June, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) argue that whilst tackling emissions is the right priority for the Mayor, they are opposed to the date change to 2019 as this does not allow sufficient time for businesses to make changes to their fleets without significant cost hardship.

A spokesperson for the FSB said,"Many small businesses owners who have tried to do the right thing and arranged vehicle leases and finance schemes to enable them to upgrade their vehicles in 2020, when the ULEZ scheme was originally intended to begin, now find the goal posts have moved leaving them with few, if any, options to mitigate these additional charges."

The FSB is calling on the Mayor, with Government support, to offer a mitigation package for small firms, in the shape of:

- The implementation date of ULEZ to be left at 2020 as small business have already planned for this date and bringing it forward to 2019 will cause significant financial hardship
- If a 2019 date is implemented then FSB calls for a three year sunset period with a 90 per cent discount for small businesses, similar to the one being proposed for residents.
- Government and Mayoral support for small and micro businesses in the form of a diesel scrappage scheme
- A full cost-benefit analysis by TfL on a new demand-managed system that would remove the need for an ever swelling charging base in the capital from Congestion Charging, LEZ, ULEZ, T-charge and bridge charging

Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, FSB, said: “Micro and small businesses are becoming more environmentally conscious by the day, however, they face disproportionately higher costs than medium and large-sized ones in carrying out business activities. We do not want to see tradesmen, coach companies, construction business owners or market traders refusing to serve London, which is why transport policy in London needs to recognise the difference between essential and non-essential journeys.

June 27, 2017