London ULEZ: Help more Londoners scrap polluting cars, Sadiq Khan urged

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 green sign demarcates London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Getty Images)
green sign demarcates London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Getty Images)

Londoners earning less than £30,000 a year should be given help to scrap their vehicle if it breaches the ultra-low emission zone rules, Sadiq Khan has been told.

The Mayor was urged to expand the eligibility criteria for grants of £2,000 to replace a car or £1,000 for a motorbike to enable motorists to avoid the £12.50-a-day charge.

The Ulez is due to expand from central London to the inner boundaries of the North and South Circular roads on October 25. At present, scrappage grants are only offered to Londoners on low-income or disability benefits.

Conservatives on the London Assembly say London should adopt the system used by Birmingham City Council for its clean air zone scheme, with motorists working in the zone able to apply for grants if they earn less than £30,000 a year.

Susan Hall, leader of the GLA Conservatives, said: “With under two months until the Ulez expansion, Sadiq Khan has left thousands of Londoners with no help to scrap their vehicle and avoid the charge.

“Two of Transport for London’s scrappage schemes for vans and heavy vehicles have been suspended since last summer, leaving small businesses and sole traders with no help to scrap these vehicles.

“The third scheme for cars and motorcycles is underfunded, with only a third of applicants receiving a pay-out, and too narrow, excluding Londoners with low incomes who don’t receive benefits.”

The Tories want Mr Khan to invest a further £50m in scrappage grants. A motion is being considered by the London Assembly today, though it likely to be amended by Mr Khan’s Labour supporters.

City Hall said more than 10,000 more polluting lorries, vans and cars had already been removed from the streets as a result of the scrappage scheme grants.

A spokeswoman for Mr Khan said: “We would love to widen the scrappage scheme and help even more residents switch from their older, polluting vehicles to a cleaner more environmentally friendly version.

“Poor air quality is a danger to us all but we know that pollution hits the poorest Londoners that hardest and that is why Sadiq has been consistently calling on the Government to match our funding or better still, take a coordinated approach and set up a proper national scrappage scheme.

“In the year that the UK hosts COP26 [climate change conference], we need the Government to follow London’s lead and do everything in their power to help clean our air and improve the health of all residents.”

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