Residents’ views on London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposed expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) are being sought by Hornchurch and Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, ahead of TfL’s consultation closing on 29 July.
The Mayor plans to charge drivers within Greater London £12.50 a day from 29 August 2023, unless their vehicle is ULEZ-compliant. Mrs Lopez has been inundated by concerns from Havering residents about the plan, and has begun compiling representations into a single consultation response to present to Mr Khan ahead of the July deadline. She is now encouraging any constituent worried about his plan to contact her in the coming weeks to include their views in the Hornchurch and Upminster submission.
Constituents’ concerns have included a worry that vulnerable people will be forced into using public transport at a time when the capital is seeing a reduction of sixteen bus routes and has been crippled by tube staff walkouts and train strikes. The expansion could also challenge the ability of family members to see and visit loved ones who live on the other side of the M25; add substantial cost to work travel; and deter people from visiting the local countryside without incurring a significant daily charge.
Residents have also expressed scepticism that the Mayor’s plans are about reducing air pollution rather than plugging the hole in TfL’s finances. The plan is designed to target older cars and it has been suggested that those affected should consider buying a newer vehicle to get around the penalty. However, as cost of living pressures increase, many residents do not have the resources either to make the change or front the daily charge.
Mrs Lopez said, “I share the concerns that residents have sent me so far about ULEZ expansion but am keen for more people to make their views known so that the voice of Outer London boroughs is heard when Mr Khan considers whether to go ahead with his plan. I welcome the focus on reducing air pollution, but a £12.50 charge to enter London could have a significant impact on our communities, particularly vulnerable and elderly people who rely on their vehicles for essential shopping and for seeing family and friends. Livelihoods could be affected too, especially if businesses are hit hard. I hope the Mayor thinks again.”
To contribute to the Hornchurch & Upminster submission, email Julia by 22 July email@example.com
To respond directly to the Mayor’s consultation, have your say here – https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/cleanair