Practical Classics (UK)

Starting HANDLE

Clive Jefferson take a grafter’s look at ULEZ ‘Why is it the little guys always get hit hardest?’


My BMW 318i SE Mr Blue Sky, as he is known because of his ELO number plate and colour, came to me for free about six years ago. Yes, free, as in ‘please come and take it away,’ as the owner had just been given a heavy fine for not having any road tax. The car was languishin­g in a London multi-storey with braking issues that were, in fact, nothing more than a broken ABS wire. Ten minutes with a soldering iron and some tape and it was MOT ready and it hasn’t really missed a beat ever since.

Every member of my family has enjoyed using him, including a wonderful motoring holiday in France. As the song says, ‘Mr Blue, you did it right.’ He would have been melted down for tin cans had ULEZ been a thing in 2017. It is a nonsense, in my own humble opinion. For the past few years I’ve been forced to pay £100 per day to use my van for work inside the standard

LEZ zone, which in some areas is just inside the M25. I’m not a big company, there’s just me, and I can’t afford to replace it with something newer and compliant, whether fossil fuel powered or electric, so I guess I’m stuck with it.

I don’t reside within the ULEZ zone, but my heart goes out to those older car owners who do, they really are going to be stuck between a rock and a very hard place indeed. I can’t help feeling that we enthusiast­s who’ll happily keep our old cars running and maintained are in our own way eco warriors because I truly believe that throwing them away and replacing them with a modern electric vehicle will damage the environmen­t more. Mr Blue Sky should be Mr Green Sky really. As for being a small business under ULEZ? It’s making a tough gig even tougher. I wonder why it’s always the little guys that get hit the hardest?

 ?? ?? Hey there, Mr Blue!
Hey there, Mr Blue!
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom