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Disabled campaigner handed TfL reprieve over emission fees

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 January 2012 | UPDATED: 17:41 12 January 2012

Sulaiman Khan is hopeful that he won't face a daily charge to travel over emission levels

Sulaiman Khan is hopeful that he won't face a daily charge to travel over emission levels

Archant

A young disabled campaigner from Woodford Green has been told he does not have to pay a daily charge to Transport for London (TfL) which would have left him struggling to travel.

Tighter regulations on vehicle emissions mean larger vehicles such as vans, minibuses and lorries must be fitted with a special filter.

That meant Sulaiman Khan, 26, of Spring Gardens, was facing a bill of at least £2,000 to convert the van he needs to get around Redbridge or pay a daily toll of £100.

The university student has a serious type of muscular dystrophy which means he uses a wheelchair and has four carers looking after him over 24 hours.

Having been vocal on problems with public transport for disabled people, he most commonly has to use a specially-converted Volkswagen van.

It is driven by one of his carers and he uses it for local travel, regular hospital appointments and to go into central London.

Luckily, despite initially telling his mother Rubi that he would have to pay, TfL has now told Mr Khan he is exempt from charges while he waits for an improved vehicle under the Motability scheme.

He said: “I think it’s a good idea to aim for lower emissions but it’s making it difficult for disabled people.

“I have to go out.

“I’m quite active and I do a lot of different things but this would be too expensive to go out of the house.”

The lower emission zone, in which vehicles must meet the TfL standards brought in on January 3, covers greater London including most of Redbridge, though it excludes parts of neighbouring Chigwell.

A spokesman for TfL said: “It’s on a case-by-case basis and with Mr Khan there are certain special circumstances.

“We’d encourage anyone who may be in a special situation to get in touch.”

TfL has a dedicated inquiries service on 0845 607 0009.


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