Mike Graham fumes over ULEZ extension
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Low-emission zones help to reduce the harmful impact of cars on the atmosphere and encourage sustainable transport alternatives. Last week London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) would be expanded to the entire capital, after previously being restricted to the centre of the city. But would you back your town or city adopting a similar scheme? Vote in our poll.
The Labour mayor opted to extend the ULEZ from central London to cover all boroughs from August 29, 2023. Mr Khan said the expansion from the heart of the city to boroughs within the north and south circular roads last October, had been “transformational” in reducing pollution levels.
He explained: “The ULEZ so far has been transformational, reducing harmful pollution levels by almost a half in central London.
“But there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the health of young Londoners and leading to thousands of early deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths in the outer London boroughs.”
He added: “Expanding the ULEZ London-wide will mean five million more people will be able to breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives.”
Mr Khan made the decision despite consultation showing “overwhelming” opposition. Public consultation showed 60 percent opposed the move, including 70 percent in outer London and 80 percent of businesses.
The scheme has been criticised as daily non-compliant drivers in the capital – all petrol cars older than 2005 registration and diesel cars older than 2015 – will face an annual charge of £4,562.50
Conservatives in the Greater London Assembly condemned the move, warning it could still be stopped by a legal challenge.
Nick Rogers, the GLA Conservatives’ transport spokesperson, said: “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.”
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Across the nation several low-emission zones – known as clean air zones (CAZs) have been launched to penalise highly polluting vehicles based on their Euro emission standard. Within designated areas, non-compliant vehicles will be charged an additional fee to help improve air quality and reduce emissions.
This week Bristol became the latest city to adopt a CAZ, with some private petrol and diesel cars, taxis, LGVs, HGVs, buses and coaches all facing daily charges from £9 to £100.
Mayor of Bristol, Martin Rees, has praised the benefits of the scheme to help reduce pollution rates in the city. He said: “This is an important step on our journey to cleaner air and creating a healthier future for everyone in Bristol.”
He continued: “We need to reduce harmful pollution in the city and reach the legal limits set by Government in the shortest time possible, but we also want to give those who need it, a bit more time to prepare. That could mean upgrading or changing a vehicle or trying out different and more sustainable ways to travel instead.”
So what do YOU think? Would you back your town or city adopting a ULEZ? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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