Ultra-low emission zones in Hackney not working, businesses claim

Businesses on five streets converted into Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles zones by Hackney Council in 2021 claim it is not working.

Tabernacle Street, Singer Street, Cowper Street, Charlotte Road and Rivington Street were restricted into only walking, cycling and low emission vehicles only streets back in 2021.  

These Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) zones were introduced to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions in Hackney and Islington.

Hackney councillor Mete Coban, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Air pollution kills more than 10,000 Londoners every year and particulate matter alone causes 7% of all deaths among people over the age of 30 in Hackney.”

However, local businesses are voicing their concern about the policy.

One business owner on Charlotte Road, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The ULEV zones have had a significant impact on our business.

“Customers are avoiding the area, and we are losing revenue as a result. We support efforts to improve air quality, but the ULEV zones are not the solution.”

Last year the Federation of Small Businesses published a survey which stated that 84% of businesses opposed the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.

A significant part of this was due to the charges placed on older, more polluting vehicles used by businesses, which they would struggle to find the money to upgrade.

A spokesperson for Sunnysiders, a clothing store on Rivington Street, said: “We struggle to get our bigger, older vehicles down these streets, which is a problem for our business.

“But even now, other cars don’t know the regulation and I have seen collisions on these streets because of it. It is dangerous.”

Employees at Bottega restaurant said: “We just don’t see the point of it.”

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