Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed that he is pressing ahead with his plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to outer London in August. This would see drivers of older cars pay £12.50 a day just to drive down the road. I totally oppose this, as does our local London Assembly Member Neil Garratt.
Khan’s own impact assessment shows it makes virtually no difference to reducing air pollution (which could be better achieved by expanding the network of electric buses and funding more electric car charging points). Khan claims that only 10% of cars will be affected, but the BBC has reported it could be more like a third of cars in outer London. Paying around £4,500 a year to drive around will severely impact people on lower incomes (who tend to have older cars), stymie businesses, make it harder to get to work and deter people from coming from Surrey to see friends and relatives in Croydon, or visit Croydon businesses. With no underground network in Croydon, cars are necessary for many.
Five Conservative-controlled London Boroughs (not including Croydon, because Croydon can’t afford the legal fees) are mounting a legal challenge that will be heard by the Court in July. Our local Mayor in Croydon Jason Perry is rightly refusing to cooperate with putting up Khan’s ULEZ signage. I hope that the legal action stops Khan’s ULEZ, which will otherwise hit many local people hard in the pocket.