Emis­sions charge is a blunt in­stru­ment

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

Your emis­sions zone ar­ti­cle (Com­ing soon: the £24 charge for driv­ing into cen­tral Lon­don, 5 Jan­uary) cor­rectly states that most pre-2006 cars will fall foul of Trans­port for Lon­don’s post-2021 ul­tra-low emis­sion zone (ULEZ) stan­dard rules for driv­ing within Lon­don’s north and south cir­cu­lar roads with­out charge.

These new rules are grossly crude and in­ept if the aim is to re­duce air pol­lu­tion. Age of ve­hi­cle on its own is a very poor in­di­ca­tor of the pol­lu­tion caused by a car.

Much more im­por­tant is the mileage. We have a pre-2006 car, but travel fewer than 750 miles a year: we only use the car about once ev­ery three weeks. There­fore TfL should use car mileage (eas­ily ob­tained from MOT records) in­stead of age. A more valid de­ci­sion model would also use the res­i­dence post­code of the ve­hi­cle to es­ti­mate dif­fi­culty of us­ing pub­lic trans­port: we are lucky Lon­don

It’s heart­warm­ing to see the Con­ser­va­tives in the Greater

Lon­don Au­thor­ity stand­ing up for the poor­est in so­ci­ety: they will be hard­est hit by the new ul­tralow emis­sions charges, as GLA

Tory leader Gareth Ba­con told the Guardian. Ex­cept that the poor­est are most likely to live in the worstpol­luted ar­eas, but least likely to own a car. The most re­cent stats avail­able are that 46% of Lon­don house­holds do not own a car.

For the low­est in­come decile, only 19% of house­holds had a car, against 80-83% of the three top in­come deciles. Coin­ci­den­tally, Lon­don’s high­est av­er­age in­comes are in the area cov­ered by the cen­tral Lon­don ULEZ area. Seems like there should be more ef­fec­tive ways to help Lon­don’s poor­est.

Ju­dith Hanna

Lon­don

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