Rainham and Dagenham MP calls for delay to ULEZ expansion
- Credit: PA/Archant
Dagenham and Rainham's MP has called on the mayor of London to delay the expansion of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) until the “economic situation” improves.
Jon Cruddas wrote to Sadiq Khan in a letter dated June 23 as part of the public consultation on the proposed ULEZ expansion, which would see the scheme become London-wide on August 29 next year.
Mr Cruddas said he shares Mr Khan’s concerns about air quality, but also has “reservations about the economic impact” the scheme will have on people in his constituency.
This comes amid a cost-of-living crisis which has seen bills soar.
A spokesperson for the mayor said: “Air pollution is a matter of life and death, with around 4,000 Londoners dying early every single year as a direct result of toxic air, and the majority of these deaths in outer London.
“Air pollution is causing Londoners to develop life-changing illnesses, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma, and it’s especially dangerous for children as it can lead to stunted lung growth.
“Research also shows that it’s the poorest and most vulnerable Londoners who are less likely to own a car, who are suffering the worst effects of pollution.”
In the letter, Mr Cruddas raised key concerns including the £12.50 ULEZ charge for non-compliant vehicles costing “working people an extra £62.50 for a five-day-week".
He suggested the ULEZ fee could be reduced for key workers and those on minimum-wage/low-pay, and noted the high price of electric cars and compliant vehicles.
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The letter also proposed revising the existing scrappage scheme and creating cheaper transport fares by re-zoning.
Mr Khan’s spokesperson said expanding the scheme would “strike the best balance between maximising the health and environmental benefits for Londoners while minimising the cost to drivers”.
They added that 80 per cent of vehicles in outer London and more than 90pc in inner London already meet ULEZ standards.
Should the scheme be expanded following the consultation, they said: “The mayor is committed to delivering the biggest scrappage scheme feasible to help Londoners most in need of support to move to ULEZ compliant vehicles.”
Mr Cruddas added: “I am urging TfL (Transport for London) to consider a delay to the ULEZ expansion until the economic situation of families in my constituency and neighbouring areas improves."
The consultation is open until July 29 and anyone can give feedback at https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/cleanair.