Car tax changes may affect ‘less affluent motorists’ as many may ‘struggle to pay charge’

ULEZ: Grant Shapps says it is a money raising scheme

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Steve Huntingford, Editor of WhatCar? said it was “important” London’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) changes did not “disadvantage anyone”. In particular, he highlighted the possible risks to those on lower incomes and with fewer savings who may be unable to afford Sadiq Khan’s new heavy fees.

Mr Huntingford has also warned the UK risks having a “patchwork of different regulations” as there is no “centrally-guided policy” on delivering the changes.

He warned further Clean Air Zones needed to be “clearly communicated” as they risked becoming “confusing and damaging”.

He said: “Expanding the zone will only help improve London’s air quality and shows why other cities around the UK are considering similar measures.

“However, it is important that the measures do not disadvantage anyone, particularly less affluent motorists who may struggle to pay the charge or switch to less emitting compliant cars.

“Transport for London has estimated up to 100,000 cars a day and up to 35,000 vans a day could be impacted by the ULEZ expansion.

“But there are question marks over whether it has adequately modelled the impact on all motorists, or provided enough investment in alternatives, including public transport.

“There is also a long-term watchout: for motorists, it will be important to ensure further emissions zones are clearly communicated and applied in a consistent way.

“At the moment there is no centrally-guided policy on delivering them, like there is with ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

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“That risks the UK becoming a patchwork of different regulations that will be both confusing and damaging to the industry.

“The good news for buyers is that there is now more choice than ever of electric and ultra-low emissions vehicles than ever.

“But it should never be assumed that every motorist can afford to make the switch, and the rule-makers should be alert to addressing any fallout from the ULEZ’s expansion.”

London’s new ULEZ came into effect from yesterday morning, expanding charges to all residents inside the North and South Circular.

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