London ULEZ could be expanded to cover entire city by next August
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) could be expanded to cover the entire city by next August to protect residents from polluting vehicles.
The Mayor of London’s plans has received strong support from the London Assembly at a vote last night, with 14 members voting in favour. The nine which voted against the proposal were all Conservatives.
The ULEZ currently covers all areas within the North and South Circular roads and requires vehicles which don’t meet emission standards to pay a £12.50 daily charge.
Recently research by City Hall found 51% of Londoners were in support of the ULEZ expansion going ahead, compared to just 27% who opposed it.
‘Since the publication of the Mayor’s transport strategy in 2018 it has become clear that further action is required to achieve the air quality, environmental and health outcomes that will ensure London is a world class, attractive and healthy city in which to live and work as well as to visit,’ said Mayor Sadiq Khan when speaking to the London Assembly.
Air pollution is already having a profound effect, as 4,000 residents died prematurely in 2019 due to long-term exposure to toxic air, while more than 300,000 Londoners are currently living with asthma in the outer boroughs of the city.
The Mayor said while the current transport strategy has helped to improve air quality by almost 50% and led to fewer premature deaths, but progress has been much slower in outer London. An expansion of the ULEZ to encompass these areas could address he said.
However, Tories have criticised the plans, saying it would leave those on low-incomes behind, as City Hall is yet to announce any funding to help people get rid of their polluting cars.
There have been reassurances from the deputy mayor that a fund is available, but this can’t be announced until a final decision is made.