The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
The ULEZ was introduced by the Mayor of London to help improve air quality in the city, as the most polluting vehicles pay a levy in order to use the roads. Of those vehicles that are subject to the levy, most pay a standard rate of £12.50, while heavier vehicles such as lorries, buses and coaches, pay £100. Transport within London is devolved to the Mayor of London. There is no legal requirement for the Mayor to consult either central or local Government on the decision to expand the ULEZ. The Mayor has now confirmed that the ULEZ will be expanded across all London boroughs from 29th August 2023. The expanded zone would cover the same area as the Low Emission Zone. Further information on vehicles that meet the ULEZ standards, how to pay the charge, and discounts or exemptions, can be found on the TfL website at the following link: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone
Although I appreciate the objections on the matter, unfortunately, the decision to extend the ULEZ is solely for the Mayor of London. I completely agree with many of the points made about the impact of the expansion of the ULEZ on those who commute into London and small businesses. However, there is no legal requirement for the Mayor to consult either central or local Government on the decision to expand the ULEZ.
While I agree that air pollution is a big environmental risk to human health and we are determined to tackle it, the Government does not agree that it should be done through expanding the ULEZ as the mayor is suggesting. As specified in the ‘ULEZ Scheme Integrated Impact Assessment’, the mayor’s own independent impact report, the proposed expansion of the ULEZ is estimated to have a minor to negligible beneficial impact on improving air quality in outer London areas.
It will have a detrimental impact on local businesses and the people of Castle Point, who aren’t able to vote in the London mayoral election but are directly affected by his decision. Despite the hundreds of millions of pounds proposed to be raised annually, the mayor has announced a limited scrappage scheme to help Londoners prepare for expansion. The scheme will only be open to certain residents and Londoners, not those from outside London who are affected and travel daily, including many local residents. These hard-working people will not be touched by that scheme at all and many small and medium-sized businesses and hardworking people in Castle Point will be left to bear that heavy burden alone. This is purely a money-grabbing exercise hiding behind the guise of air pollution, it is unacceptable and does not have my support
Although I and many of my colleagues in Parliament have voiced our objections to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans, the Government sadly does not have the power to veto his decision.
Rebecca Harris MP (January 2023)
Essex Councillor Lee Scott, cabinet member for highways maintenance and sustainable transport at Essex County Council, said:
“Essex County Council will not allow any other areas to use the County Council’s land for cameras or other equipment related to the proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.”
Sign the petition: https://action.conservatives.com/stop-drivers-tax/