Sadiq Khan steps up war on polluting cars with ULEZ expansion plan Business

Sadiq Khan has stepped up his crackdown on heavily polluting cars by extending an emissions charge across Greater London, even as drivers are hit by soaring petrol prices and a wider fuel cost crisis. the life.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is levied on certain petrol and diesel vehicles entering London’s North and South Circular Roads, will be extended to all boroughs in the capital, the mayor has announced.

He said: “The triple challenge of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion means we need to further reduce vehicle emissions in London. We just don’t have time to waste.

“The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to cut carbon emissions to help save the planet.”

But experts have warned that low-emission zones could lead to more, rather than less, congestion in the capital due to the growth of electric vehicles which are exempt from the tax.

The ULEZ extension is the latest levy imposed on motorists since Mr Khan took over City Hall. It controversially widened the ULEZ from central London to the North and South Circular routes last October.

The mayor increased the congestion charge from £11.50 to £15 and extended the scheme to include weekends.

Extending the zone would avoid having to introduce two more levies – an ‘air quality charge’ of £2 a day or a border charge of up to £5.50 for drivers entering the Greater London.

The price varies according to the type of vehicle. Most petrol and diesel cars, vans and motorbikes will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50. Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are exempt.

Mr Khan’s proposals come after Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah became the first person in the UK to list air pollution as a cause of death.

Her mother, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debra, said: “People will be encouraged to get rid of their dirty vehicles, and children like Ella will breathe easier and have a better quality of life.”

However, experts have warned that ULEZ’s proposed expansion could backfire. Andy Marchant of sat nav maker TomTom said: “When [electric vehicles] become the norm, no emissions-based restrictions will prevent them from entering cities.

“It is possible that this will lead to increased congestion in the city center, even if it does not generate any tailpipe emissions.”

Nonetheless, environmental activists have welcomed the plans. Zack Polanski, Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: “The mayor says we only have a small window of opportunity to get it right – and that’s true. It’s a good interim step, but there’s no time to waste as we need road users to take charge of cleaning London’s air.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-04 14:37:44

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