Following Friday’s (25 November) announcement by the Mayor of London that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded London-wide from August 2023, Hillingdon, Harrow, Bexley and Croydon councils have announced their resolve to work with other outer London boroughs to resist its implementation by using all means at their disposal.
Hillingdon Council Leader, Cllr Ian Edwards, said: “Hillingdon remains vehemently opposed to these half-baked plans and we will do everything in our power to stop it from going ahead.
“London cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach when the make-up of inner boroughs is incredibly different to ours.
“Unlike urban parts of the capital, our residents don’t have the luxury of a frequent, multi-layered transport system. Many have little option other than to use their cars for everyday travel. Imposing the ULEZ charge is not only wrongheaded but is completely unfair and will hit the poorest in our communities hardest. What Hillingdon really needs is not another tax but increased investment in its public transport links.
“There are better ways of improving our air quality and the Mayor of London should be doing all he can to boost London’s recovery rather than implementing this money grab from those that can least afford it.”
Harrow Council Leader, Cllr Paul Osborn, said: “This is an outrageous announcement. Mayor Khan has ignored London’s residents and businesses and pushed ahead with his vanity project. This is the wrong solution at the wrong time. There is no evidence that it will improve air quality but it will hit the poorest households most.
“This scheme will involve placing hundreds of cameras in Harrow and thousands across London, costing hundreds of millions of pounds.
“Harrow residents were overwhelmingly against this idea. We will join with other councils across London to make sure our residents’ wishes are listened to and acted upon.”
London Borough of Bexley Leader, Cllr Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, said: ”Our decisive election victory in May saw our residents give us a mandate to oppose the extension of the ULEZ.
“We are an outer London borough with poor transport connections, which means that many people are reliant on their cars, including many who travel into the borough from outside London.
“The ULEZ charge will impact disproportionately on those on lower incomes, which includes many key workers, and we are very concerned about the impact it will have on them, on essential services and local businesses.”
“I am deeply concerned by Sadiq Khan’s plans to dramatically extend the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in August 2023.
“The ULEZ expansion would be a hammer blow to businesses and residents in Croydon, particularly given that it comes on top of the Mayor of London’s decision to increase his share of council tax by a record 8.8% this year – that’s almost £400 extra a year for the average Croydon household.
“While we must improve London’s air quality, that work should not come at the cost of hitting families and businesses already struggling to make ends meet. Unless the Mayor of London scraps his ULEZ extension there is a risk that people with cars which fall short of the ULEZ standards will be left unable to get around without paying the extortionate £12.50 a day charge. That is deeply unfair. City Hall should be investing to support people to take positive steps to improve our environment, for example further incentivising greener vehicles.
“The Mayor of London’s own Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA), concludes that the air quality improvements in Croydon from extending ULEZ are very small. I have previously written to the Mayor of London setting out my opposition to his ULEZ expansion and the Council have submitted a detailed response to the TfL consultation making the case against expansion.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon