City backs a London-wide expansion of the ULEZ

Friday, 5th August — By Tom Foot

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Sadiq Khan’s aim is for net-zero carbon emissions in the capital by 2030 with 80 per cent of all journeys made on foot or bike or public transport

THE city council is backing the massive expansion of ULEZ, ultra low emission zone, charges.

Cabinet member for city management and air quality, Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, has written to Transport for London supporting the expansion plan.

A consultation closed on Friday and the expectation is that the central London ULEZ boundary will be extended to cover the whole of the capital. Drivers of old and polluting vehicles will have to pay the charge or find greener methods of transport.

Cllr Dimoldenberg said: “Westminster has some of the highest carbon emissions and poorest air quality of any local authority and urgent steps need to be taken if we want to improve. To create a cleaner air environment, we fully support the proposals set out in the TfL consultation.

“To supplement these proposals, we want to encourage people coming into our city to participate in active travel by walking and cycling more and using public transport, which is why we have opposed the proposed recent bus cuts, as buses are a lifeline for so many people in the borough.”

Several key bus routes in Westminster are facing the axe from TfL that says it cannot afford to run the network due to Covid-19 pandemic revenue losses and a row with the Conservative government over a bailout.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was still aiming for net-zero carbon emissions in the capital by 2030, with 80 per cent of all journeys made in the city on foot, bike or via public transport.

During a meeting last month Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon had said incentives should be offered to encourage Londoners to ditch their car and join a car club, hire a bike, or use public transport.

She had also raised concerns that not enough information was being given out to people about how they could avoid the charge.

Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, said: “Most rational people, all across the UK are baffled how one man can have the singular power, via his left wing, idealistic, ill-informed green agenda, be allowed to even contemplate punishing London’s drivers yet more so.

“All, as per usual, at the inevitable expense of already high taxed and demonised drivers. For some drivers, they face monthly costs as high as £387.50 to drive inside the area if their car is not compliant.”

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