Hayes & Harlington Gazette
ULEZ expansion ‘should be delayed’
A MIND blowing 1.6 million cars in the areas around London are not ULEZ compliant, new figures have revealed. Commuters from counties like Surrey will still need to drive into the zone from August 29, but aren’t eligible for the scrappage scheme which offers up to £2,000 for old cars.
It means key workers will be forced to pay £12.50 ULEZ charges every day for commuting to work. City Hall is widening the emission cutting scheme to all 32 London boroughs but opposition voices say it will hurt ordinary Londoners during a cost of living crisis.
Liberal Democrat analysis of the DVLA’s car registration data found there were 1.6 million pre-2016 diesels and pre-2006 petrol cars in the eight counties surrounding London. This includes 247,477 in Essex, 157,338 in Surrey and a massive 258,406 in Hampshire, many parts of which are less than an one hour’s drive from the capital.
The UK Government has provided over £800 million for car scrappage schemes in other cities around the country as part of clean air zone initiatives, but has not offered funding for London’s ULEZ expansion. The Liberal Democrats have slammed this as “a betrayal of London and the commuter belt” and urged UK ministers to step in.
Under the Liberal Democrats’ proposal, those with a non-ULEZ compliant car in areas surrounding London who has a legitimate reason for regularly driving into the capital such as for work or caring duties, could claim a grant of up to £4,000 to switch cars.
The party is also calling for small business support, more incentives for electric vehicles, and more electric charging points. Others say the scheme should at least be delayed to give vehicle owners more time to swap motors. Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said: “It is time someone stood up for the nurses, teachers, businesses and self-employed people across the commuter belt who have to drive into London frequently. They’ve been left high and dry by both the Government and London’s Mayor.
“It is reckless for the Mayor to push ahead with his ULEZ extension given the cost of living crisis, with millions unable to benefit from car scrappage schemes or better transport links, so he should delay his plans.