Conservatives: Reopen scrappage schemes ahead of Redbridge ULEZ expansion

ULEZ to expand to Redbridge in October

The A406 flyover on the Redbridge Roundabout. This road will be the new cut-off point for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which is set to be expanded later this year. - Credit: Ken Mears

City Hall Conservatives are urging Sadiq Khan to reopen two suspended Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scrappage schemes ahead of the zone's October expansion into Redbridge.

In 2019, it was announced that the ULEZ will arrive in the borough later this year, and will cut off at the A406 North Circular Road. 

This means that from October 25, vehicles in South Woodford and Wanstead will have to comply with emission standards or face a charge.

ULEZ expanding come October

The van and heavy vehicle scrappage schemes remain suspended ahead of the expansion of the ULEZ zone, which is set to affect South Woodford and Wanstead. - Credit: Google Maps

Conservatives in the Greater London Assembly (GLA) - including Redbridge and Havering representative Keith Prince - have called on the Mayor of London to implement their plan to restore two schemes that are currently suspended.

After the ULEZ expansion was confirmed, three scrappage schemes - for cars, vans, and heavy vehicles - were created to help Londoners switch to cleaner vehicles. 

While the car scheme remains open, the latter two were suspended last summer due to "unprecedented demand and limited funds". 

Mr Prince opposes the expansion, arguing that its cancellation would be "by far the best option".

However, if the plans proceed, Mr Khan "should follow the GLA Conservative plan to reopen the ULEZ scrappage schemes", he said.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: "The van and heavy vehicle schemes have been suspended because the money has all been allocated to successful applicants.

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"The schemes to help charities replace minibuses and low income and disabled Londoners scrap or replace privately owned vehicles remain open to new applicants."

The City Hall Tories feel that restoring the scrappage schemes is the "least" the mayor can do for Londoners, and believe they have created a plan that would allow him to do it. 

They suggest generating £50 million from City Hall's Business Rates Reserve, which they said will allow more than 7,000 vans, minibuses and heavy vehicles to be scrapped.

The group added this would almost double the mayor's allocation to such schemes, and relieve the financial burden on Londoners who are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Khan's spokesperson added: "The mayor continues to call on government to further support the switch to cleaner vehicles through funding a targeted national scrappage scheme.”

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