Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he will move forward with a proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover all of London by end of August 2023. This follows the recent London Assembly vote on amending the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to pave the way for the ULEZ expansion and ‘smart and fair road user charging’.
The Mayor also announced a series of mitigation measures including a delayed start for vehicles involved in carrying disabled people and a scrappage scheme in response to the results of a large consultation on the proposals which saw an overall majority of respondents flatly oppose any expansion of ULEZ.
Nearly 60 percent of consultation responses said the ULEZ expansion “should not be implemented”, rising to 70% in outer London. However, an independent and representative YouGov survey of 1,245 Londoners, commissioned by the London Assembly found only 27% of Londoners did not want expansion compared to 22% don’t know, and 51% wanted it implemented (8% of whom at a later date). Sadiq rightly pointed out on the back of these results that, as we say, “consultation is not a referendum” but a way of getting feedback to act on.
As a result of the consultation feedback, Sadiq has announced a raft of measures to ensure the impact of expansion is ameliorated for those least likely to be able to adapt easily to it.
The Mayor announced alongside the ULEZ expansion, the following measures:
The Mayor also made the case again for expansion, with the press release pointing out that it:
“will save 27,000 tonnes of CO2 in outer London, nearly double that which the central London ULEZ achieved in its first year of operation. Amongst other improvements, the expansion is forecast to make further progress to reduce air pollution, by reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from cars and vans in outer London by 10 and 7 percent respectively, and reducing PM2.5 car exhaust emissions in outer London by nearly 16 per cent, benefitting five million outer London residents.”
Only 15% of outer London drivers are also set to be affected by the charge, and “all the money raised by ULEZ will be pumped back into funding local public transport”.
The triple threats of of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion are why LCC backs the ULEZ expansion with support for low income Londoners, and indeed for the next likely step: combining the increasingly complex charges levied for driving in London into one ‘smart & fair’ road-user charging scheme that charges for distance, time of day, emissions class of vehicle, location etc.
“Alongside far greater provision for walking and cycling, expanded public transport, and convenient access to shared e-cycles and EVs, ULEZ expansion is essential to delivering the traffic reductions needed to hit net zero by 2030. Only by taking bold and decisive action like this, will we avert the existential threat of the climate emergency, prevent thousands of pollution-related deaths, and bust the congestion that blights our city,”
Dr Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive, London Cycling Campaign.
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