Consultation results showed clear majority opposed to proposal
Expanded scheme will be operational within 10 months
Sadiq Khan has announced that he intends to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to cover the whole of Greater London following a public consultation.
It means that from 29 August next year, drivers of older vehicles that do not meet strict emissions standards will have to pay the daily £12.50 charge to drive anywhere in London.
There has been widespread opposition to the plan which some say will hit lower income drivers hardest at a time of generally rising costs but City Hall says the scheme will improve air quality across London.
Around 60 per cent of respondents to TfL’s public consultation are thought to have opposed the expansion, though a YouGov poll commissioned by City Hall found that only 27 per cent of Londoners were opposed.
Sadiq Khan said expanding the ULEZ in the face of widespread opposition was “one of the toughest decisions I have made” but stressed that the public consultation was “not a referendum”.
Mr Khan said, “Let me be frank, this decision was not made lightly. The easy thing to do would’ve been to kick the can down the road. But in the end, public health comes before political expediency, and I will not stand idly by while Londoners die, and our children are choked by poisonous fumes.”
In addition to announcing the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, the mayor also announced he would introduce a new £110 million scrappage scheme to help lower income Londoners get older, non-compliant cars off the road and swap them for compliant vehicles.
Nick Rogers, transport spokesperson for the GLA Conservatives, said that “now is not the time” to expand the zone and “hammer” more Londoners with the £12.50 levy.
He said, “The official report from TfL shows an overwhelming majority – about 60% – of respondents are opposed to Sadiq Khan’s damaging plans to expand the ULEZ. This increases to 68% when you exclude organised campaigns, and a staggering 80% of people who work in outer London are against.
“Now is not the time to hammer Londoners with a £12.50 daily cost-of-living charge. Residents have made their views very clear to the mayor: they do not want the ULEZ expansion. The mayor must listen to them, scrap these plans and use the £250 million saved on real measures that tackle air pollution.”
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
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