ULEZ: Grant Shapps says it is a money raising scheme
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan is trying to push through his plans to expand the Ultra Low Emissions Zone to all 33 London boroughs from August 2023. On Friday he invited drivers to have their say via a Transport for London public consultation.
City Hall estimates that the expansion would result in the number of polluting cars that do not meet minimum emissions standards dropping from 160,000 to 46,000.
That would mean 100,000 car owners being forced to get rid of their vehicles by selling or scrapping them.
They would no longer be able to drive those vehicles anywhere in Greater London without paying a daily fee of £12.50.
The zone currently stretches from the north to the south circular road following an initial expansion last October.
Mr Khan said: “The air Londoners breathe is so toxic it stunts children’s lungs, exacerbates chronic illness and contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year.
“More than half of the 500,000 Londoners with asthma live in outer London and all areas of London still breach safe levels of pollution.
“Air pollution is not just a central London issue and Londoners in the outer boroughs should be able to enjoy the clean air benefits the ULEZ brings.”
He also vowed to implement “as big a vehicle scrappage scheme as is feasible” for those whose cars did not meet the conditions.
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But last year when the zone was first expanded, scrappage schemes ran out of cash, leaving thousands of London motorists unable to get a grant.
Mr Khan blamed that on MPs and said that “any expansion of ULEZ needs to have a scrappage scheme and that’s why it’s really important for the Government to support us.”
Oliver Lord, from the Clean Cities Campaign, told the Standard: “A London-wide ULEZ will ensure everyone breathes cleaner air and especially people living on busy arterial roads, who are often left behind.
“We are, however, long overdue a conversation on what comes next, and I’m pleased this has begun because we need to do more than the ULEZ to meet our climate goals.”
The public consultation will also include proposals to increase non-payment of the Congestion charge from £160 to £180.
Conservatives were opposed to the plans, with City Hall Tory transport spokesperson Nicholas Rogers saying: “The mayor must not ignore the many Londoners, charities and small businesses who lack reasonable alternatives to driving, especially when promising ‘the biggest scrappage scheme feasible’ without explaining what that actually means.
“He clearly has a fundamental misunderstanding of the specific demographics of London, where outer boroughs have an average vehicle ownership of nearly 70 per cent.”
Mr Khan says the consultation results will be listened to and that if the public opposed the plans then they wouldn’t be imposed.
He said: “It’s a genuine consultation – as were the previous two consultations in relation to the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone and the expansion.
“I hope Londoners who care about the health of their families will respond.”
If the proposals were to be introduced, Transport for London (TFL) would bring in an extra £1.7million per day.
Currently, for diesel cars to avoid the charge they must generally have been registered after September 2015, while most petrol models registered from 2005 are exempt.
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