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ULEZ expansion will destroy local businesses claims London Assembly Member

An Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion risks destroying local businesses, according to the London Assembly Member (AM) for Havering and Redbridge.

Keith Prince, a Conservative member of the London Assembly – the elected body which scrutinises the Mayor’s activities – claimed there will be a massive economic impact on workers commuting from areas outside of Greater London, such as Essex.

The ULEZ, which currently covers areas within the North and South Circular Roads, is set to expand across all London boroughs from 29 August, meaning a daily charge of £12.50 for vehicles that do not comply with regulations.

Transport for London (TfL) states: “it is intended to improve air quality by reducing the number of vehicles in London that don’t meet emissions standards and is to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, except Christmas Day”.

Prince said: “This is going to destroy local businesses.

“I understand the principle of ULEZ, but every study shows that it won’t lower emissions. Moreover, people won’t be able to run or replace their vehicles.

“The expansion will affect not just London, but all of the Home Counties.”

Since the expansion was announced, a petition has gained more than 45,000 signatures to hold a referendum on removing the London Assembly and London Mayor, with Outer London Boroughs leading with most signatories.

In response to the planned expansion, Conservative MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, shared a post on his official MP Facebook account criticising Khan.

Additionally, Romford Conservatives tweeted that: “It is now time for the people of Havering to decide our own future.”

Tweet from Romford Conservatives (@RomfordCA)

Arguing that ULEZ expansion was not included in Khan’s manifesto and therefore has no democratic mandate, Prince proposed delaying deliberation until the 2024 London Mayoral Election.

Vehicles that don’t meet ULEZ regulations will need to pay a daily charge of £12.50.

This applies to cars, motorbikes, vans, and specialist vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes and minibuses up to and including five tonnes.

Lorries, vans, and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and buses, minibuses, and coaches over five tonnes will be exempt from the ULEZ charge and pay the standard LEZ (Low Emission Zone) charge instead.

Khan said: “The ten boroughs with the largest number of deaths from respiratory issues are all in Outer London.

“It’s the poorest Londoners, who are least likely to own a car, who suffer the worst consequences of air pollution. Almost half of Londoners don’t own a car.

“The Conservatives in the London Assembly opposed the expansion, but Londoners voted for me to be their mayor. I understand the ability of a vocal minority to have their voices heard. But I was elected by the silent majority.

“Experts from across the world, from the World Health Organisation to Imperial College London, have said they’ve never seen a single policy dealing with air quality making such a transformative impact.”

Featured image credit: sam2th via Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

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