ULEZ is a 'clumsy mechanism' says former MP Stephen Pound
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Under new proposals, the London Ultra Low Emission Zone would be expanded to encompass most of Greater London from August 2023. In March, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the plans, saying it would help tackle the illegal pollution levels in parts of the capital.
Transport for London estimates that between 20,000 and 40,000 cars would be taken off the road due to the expansion.
Anyone who drives in the ULEZ zone with a non-compliant vehicle is charged a daily fee of £12.50.
The charging zone runs every day of the year, with drivers facing a total cost of £4,562.50 across 365 days.
A public consultation has been launched to hear the opinions of residents about expanding the boundary of the North and South Circular roads to cover all 33 boroughs.
The proposed expansion would go up the borders of Kent, Surrey and Essex.
However, Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, said these charges will hit businesses, key workers and working-class families.
He claimed there was “no clear evidence” that the plans will reduce air pollution.
Mr French added: “Whilst I completely believe action must be taken to tackle air pollution and I welcome the Government’s action on this, there is no clear evidence that the expanded ULEZ will improve air quality in outer London boroughs like Bexley.
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“Bexley and outer London boroughs do not have the same transport options and connectivity as central London so it is extremely unfair the Mayor of London is proposing plans for expansion.
“The proposals would hit local businesses, key workers and families in Bexley who cannot afford a new car.
“We are already receiving reports of local nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital being impacted by the latest ULEZ expansion.
“These plans are yet another attack on outer London areas like Bexley by the Mayor of London and a way for him to fill the black hole he has made in TfL’s finances.
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“I will therefore continue to stand up for my constituents and campaign to stop the Mayor of London’s expansion plans,” News Shopper reported.
It is estimated that millions of pounds will be spent on expanding the ULEZ, including new signage and cameras.
Mr French said this money would be better spent on “proper scrappage schemes” and improving public transport.
Cars will need to meet minimum standards to enter the ULEZ without being charged, with diesel cars required to be Euro 4 and petrol to be Euro 6.
Generally, petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are those first registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001.
Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.
This comes as illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution were recorded in outer London.
Legal limits for NO2 were supposed to be met in the UK by 2010 at the latest.
Some 15 air quality monitors across London recorded levels of NO2 above legal limits.
Not a single air quality monitor recorded levels that met recommended limits set by the World Health Organisation,
Illegal levels of NO2 were recorded in Kingston-upon-Thames, Brent and Sutton, none of which are currently covered by the ULEZ, but could be if Sadiq Khan presses ahead with plans to expand it further next year.
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