Motorists face paying £12.50 per day to drive from next year under emissions rule

Motorists face paying £12.50 per day to drive from next year under emissions rule

03/06/2022

ULEZ: Grant Shapps says it is a money raising scheme

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Around 135,000 drivers who need to use their cars in London to work face a staggering extra yearly cost of just under £3,200 from next year thanks to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s latest expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone. From next year the ULEZ will cover all of Greater London, and anyone with a car that doesn’t meet the standards will pay £12.50 a day.

While all London boroughs are currently covered by a low emissions zone, the ULEZ will now encompass all 32 boroughs from 2023.

The zone was already expanded only in October last year to cover all areas within the North and South circular roads.

However the income generated from that move was lower than Transport for London expectations as more people complied than forecasted.

The income earned from ULEZ in 2021/22 was £661 million – £20 million lower than expected, according to TfL finance committee papers.

The move means that only “clean” vehicles will be able to drive in the city without paying, although the £15 congestion charge remains.

Mr Khan did say he won’t now impose a £3.50 daily fee for anyone outside of London entering the city and the idea of a daily £2 “clean air charge” for anyone driving a petrol or diesel car has also been ditched.

The cost of implementing the extension isn’t yet known, however last year TfL shelled out £130million on installing cameras to expand the ULEZ to the suburbs.

Sadiq Khan is under pressure to raise funds as part of TfL’s Government bailout.

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The Mayor said: “The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London.

“This is also a matter of social justice – with air pollution hitting the poorest communities the hardest.

“I believe the proposal to extend the ULEZ London-wide will have the biggest effect on emissions and congestion relative to the potential financial impact on Londoners as a whole.”

However Conservative opposition described the move as a cash grab at a time when the cost of living is already soaring.

Keith Prince, Conservative London Assembly Member, said: “I’d welcome genuine plans to clean up London’s air but this is all about Sadiq Khan desperately trying to squeeze as much money as he possibly can from Londoners to cover up his nearly 6 years of financial mismanagement of TfL.

“His promise of ‘the biggest car scrappage scheme feasible’ is totally worthless.

“The GLA Conservative showed him how he could put an additional £50 million into his scrappage schemes for the last ULEZ expansion and he point-blank refused.”

However environmental campaigners have welcomed the news, as the number of children affected by asthma in London is steadily increasing.

Kevin Fenton, Public Health Regional Director for London, said: “Tackling London’s air pollution will require bold action from all of us – reducing car use, promoting active travel, and promoting greener, cleaner public transport.

“Good to see plans to extend London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2023.”

Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon added: “I really welcome plans to extend ULEZ across all of Greater London.

“It is right and necessary to tackle toxic air pollution. Air pollution does not stop at the South and North Circular.”

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