Keith Prince: 'ULEZ expansion is hammer blow to struggling Londoners'
Keith Prince AM, Havering and Redbridge
- Credit: PA Images
In less than a month, Sadiq Khan will slap 140,000 motorists a day with a £12.50 charge for driving between the North and South Circulars.
He hasn't given them time to recover from the pandemic, let alone prepare for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion. It's unfair and a hammer blow to struggling Londoners.
Sadly, Mr Khan is offering no lifeline to Londoners who can't afford a new vehicle or his daily charge.
To make matters worse, thousands of low-income Londoners aren't even eligible for the mayor's cars and motorcycle scheme, which only offers grants to those on certain benefits.
My colleagues and I have identified £50 million of funds from City Hall's reserves which we believe the mayor could invest in scrappage schemes.
Our plan would offer grants to thousands of low income and disabled Londoners, small businesses and charities to help them scrap their older vehicles and buy a cleaner one.
With this new sizeable investment, Transport for London (TfL) could reopen the two closed schemes for vans and heavy vehicles, helping sole traders, small businesses and charities prepare for ULEZ.
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It would also enable TfL to widen the scheme for cars and motorbikes by offering grants to Londoners who earn less than £30,000, similar to a Birmingham City Council scheme.
If Mr Khan refuses to drop the ULEZ expansion, he must back our plan to help Londoners switch their vehicles and avoid the charge.