Cash-strapped emergency services struggle to meet Sadiq Khan's emission crackdown rules

Ross Lydall
Crackdown: Emergency services will struggle to meet Sadiq's new emission rules: EPA

London’s emergency services are struggling to meet a new crackdown on emissions from Sadiq Khan, it can be revealed.

There are more than 800 police, fire and ambulance vehicles that will breach the ultra low emission zone rules if the Mayor presses ahead with plans to introduce it by 2019.

This is forcing already cash-strapped emergency services to consider replacing their vehicles earlier than planned or be hit with massive daily charges. The fire brigade fears the ULEZ will cost it £250,000 a year.

The Mayor is consulting on bringing in the zone a year earlier than initially proposed.

Tory London Assembly member Shaun Bailey, who uncovered the figures, today called on Mr Khan to exempt the emergency services or give them longer to comply.

He said: “It seems unbelievable that our emergency services are not exempt from this pollution tax given their whole reason for driving in London is to save lives.”

The Met told the Standard it had 736 vehicles that would not meet the new rules by 2019.

The fire brigade said it would have 52 vehicles which breached the emissions rules if the zone was launched in 2019.

London Ambulance Service said it had 828 diesel vehicles that were not compliant but hoped to reduce this to 86 by 2020.

Alex Williams, TfL’s Managing Director for Planning, said: “Our city’s poor air quality contributes to over 9,000 lives being lost in the Capital each year.

"The Mayor is taking decisive action to tackle this public health crisis head on, bringing in an Ultra Low Emission Zone that will deliver a reduction in harmful NOx emissions of around 50 per cent in central London.

"We are working closely with the emergency services and sharing technical expertise to support and help them as the new requirements are introduced.”

A spokesman for the Mayor added: “Once again, the Tories are opposing plans, supported by environment and medical experts, business and Londoners to clean up the city’s filthy air and save lives.

“They should throw their weight behind tackling the city’s dangerous air pollution.

“The Mayor is pleased that the emergency services are showing leadership in cleaning up their fleets and taking bold steps towards becoming cleaner and greener, rather than asking for exemptions.”