A proposal to expand inner London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to London’s greenest borough has been condemned as a cynical tax raid against the borough’s residents.
The council’s response to the Mayor of London’s consultation about an expansion of the ULEZ highlights concerns about the impact on those who are lower paid or self-employed and small businesses, who rely on their vehicles for their livelihoods. Concerns are also expressed for those older drivers, who travel short distances and use their car to maintain their independence, where alternative forms of transport are not available.
Councillor Colin Smith, Leader of Bromley Council said, “Quite simply, this proposal is wrong on just about every level and is really about paving the way for the introduction of road charging taxes across the whole of ‘London’ by stealth.
Our borough already has amongst, if not actually the best air quality levels in London, and if this were truly about improving air quality even further, which we obviously support, those responsible would be thinking far harder in terms of broadening the scrappage scheme for non-compliant vehicles and accelerating the roll out of green vehicle charging points and buses.
If this proposal goes forward, and our fears that this consultation is nothing more than a tick box sham are confirmed, people, families and traders living on the edge of London and the surrounding counties are going to hammered with an additional tax, just at a time when everything should be being done to achieve precisely the reverse.
Councillor Smith continued, “Bromley’s green credentials are amply demonstrated by what we’re doing in a myriad of ways, whether it be recycling, conversion of lamp-post to LEDS, planting trees and working towards our net zero commitment by 2027, far ahead of almost every other London Borough and TfL itself.
What we won’t support is an unfair, regressive tax which will achieve very little in terms of outcomes by Zone One Officials who completely fail to grasp the need for people to be able to drive locally, given the size of our borough and the relative shortcomings of the public transport network compared to elsewhere.
In summary, the ULEZ boundary should be left where it is, contained within the North and South Circular, especially given that even TfL’s own interim reports suggest that the recent changes there have only made very marginal improvements and even then, that can’t necessarily be credited to ULEZ either”
Residents are also being encouraged to respond to the short consultation, with the council also not convinced that there has been sufficient analysis of the most recent expansion of the ULEZ scheme, especially given the impact of the pandemic on traffic and travel patterns. The response follows the council meeting last on Monday.
For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Head of Public Affairs Officer, on 020 8461 7670 or email Andrew.Rogers@Bromley.gov.uk.