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OPINION - What do you think of suburbs revolting against Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion?

The Ulez will expand across Greater London on August 29, 2023 (Ross Lydall)
The Ulez will expand across Greater London on August 29, 2023 (Ross Lydall)

Councillors and residents across London’s suburbs are pushing back against the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), citing concerns over increased costs and limited options for non-compliant vehicles.

Sadiq Khan’s plan, which aims to reduce air pollution in the city, would require drivers of older or more polluting cars to pay a daily fee of £12.50 to use their vehicles.

Councils, including Bromley, Bexley, Harrow, and Hillingdon, are challenging the plan, arguing that it disproportionately affects residents living outside the city centre.

Bromley Council leader Colin Smith said that he will be looking into the “legal basis” of the expansion.

Some councils are also pushing for more time to allow residents to upgrade their cars to comply with the ULEZ standards.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Sir Ed Davey said: “Pushing through Ulez without a proper car-scrappage scheme or investment in public transport is frankly reckless, especially in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“I’m particularly worried about people who are strapped for cash already, and many elderly and vulnerable people who will find it very difficult to switch cars.

“The case for a delay to sort out such problems is overwhelming.”

The Mayor is funding a £110 million new scrappage scheme for Londoners who are eligible for certain means-tested benefits, those with disabilities, as well as registered micro-businesses, sole traders, and charities.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has advised the Mayor to “properly reconsider” the plans.

What do you think of suburbs revolting against Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion? Let us know in the comments or on our Instagram for your chance to be featured on the ES website.

Yesterday we asked: What do you think of the pensioners’ ban on free travel?

One reader, Thomas Michael, commented on Facebook that they agree with TfL removing free travel for Londoners aged over 60 before 9am. Thomas said: “TfL budget is tight, and pensioners can always wait until after 09:30 to get their free travel.”

Similarly, @_pjmeade commented on Instagram: “For the morning rush hour I can see the wisdom in not having extra bodies on the trains”.

Another reader, Dave Faucher, said restricting the use of free travel of those aged 60-plus is “shameful”. Dave said: “After all they have paid there taxes and done the ground work. They should have the privilege of free travel.”