More than 1.5million people outside London to be hit by Ulez expansion, research suggests
More than 1.5 million people living outside London could be impacted by the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez), according to research.
The Ulez is currently limited to the area within London’s north and south circular roads but is due to be extended to cover the whole of the capital from August 29 when it will expand to border areas of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
Drivers of vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards are charged a £12.50 daily fee for entering the zone.
The Liberal Democrats examined data covering the counties impacted by the Ulez expansion and found that more than 380,000 vehicles registered to households outside London were at risk of non-compliance.
It found that in Kent there were more than 250,000 vehicles likely to be non-compliant with ULEZ, over 240,000 in Essex and 157,338 in Surrey.
Commuters driving in and out of Greater London do not have access to the mayor’s £110m scrappage scheme, which offers grants of £2,000 to people on benefits who wish to give up their car.
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey urged the government to widen the scrappage scheme to other parts of the UK.
"I think it is a betrayal of London and the commuter belt by the government not to help drivers with ULEZ," he added.
"The government has thrown millions of pounds of taxpayers money at cities across the country implementing clean air zones, but not a single penny for hard-pressed workers and carers in the South East.
"It is a shameful situation.
"It is also reckless for the mayor to push ahead with this in the middle of a cost of living crisis whilst millions have no access to car scrappage schemes or decent local transport links."
Data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) suggests that 30 per cent of vehicles in the UK do not comply with Ulez emission limits.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "The mayor is pleased that Ed Davey agrees with his long-standing call for the government to support the switch to cleaner vehicles by funding a targeted national scrappage scheme or by providing funding to London and the surrounding areas, as it has for other parts of the country, such as Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth."
The Department of Transport said: "Transport is devolved, the ULEZ issue would be one for TfL to respond to.
"On the scrappage scheme specifically, that’s something local authorities lead on."
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which has been in charge of allocating money for scrappage schemes in other parts of the country, has been contacted for comment.