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Ultra Low Emission Zone to be expanded across all of London

Sadiq Khan says expanding the zone will save 27,000 tonnes of CO2 in outer London

The Mayor of London has announced he will expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone across the whole of the capital.

Sadiq Khan said the boundary will be expanded to include all of Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday, 29 August 2023.

Drivers who enter the zone in a vehicle that does not meet the minimum emissions standards will be charged £12.50 a day.

The Mayor claimed five million more Londoners will breathe cleaner air due to the scheme. Around 4,000 people in the capital die prematurely each year due to toxic air pollution.

The leader of Havering Council, Ray Morgon, previously opposed the project because it would “hit the borough’s less well-off residents in their pockets much more than others”.

He also called for more investment in public transport in the borough so that less people have to depend on their car to get around.

Mr Khan revealed the expansion will be accompanied by a new £110 million scrappage scheme to help people on lower incomes, disabled people, charities and small businesses. Successful scrappage applicants will receive a grant to scrap or retrofit their vehicle for certain vans and minibuses.

He also announced a new plan to improve the bus network in outer London which will strengthen the links between Harold Hill and Upminster. There will also be better bus links in Wanstead heading to and from Whipps Cross Hospital.

“The ULEZ so far has been transformational, reducing harmful pollution levels by almost a half in central London,” said Mr Khan. “But there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the health of young Londoners and leading to thousands of early deaths every year, with the greatest number of deaths in the outer London boroughs.”

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham, Jon Cruddas, said: “Today’s announcement from City Hall regarding ULEZ is deeply disappointing. It seems that, aside from an improved scrappage scheme, the representations I made on behalf of my constituents fell on deaf ears.

“I understand the pressing need to improve air quality and public health, but this scheme will be another unwelcome hit on working people in areas like Dagenham & Rainham. The Tories have crashed our economy leaving thousands of people struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, and against this backdrop those same people will now struggle to get to work.

“This should have been delayed until we were on the other side of the cost-of-living crisis, which hasn’t really begun to bite yet. Dagenham & Rainham is home to many low-income workers who rely on their personal vehicles. The public transport infrastructure just isn’t there to support this policy. I will continue to challenge this in the strongest possible terms over the coming weeks and months.”

Around 85 per cent of drivers in outer London are already compliant with the zone’s requirements meaning they won’t be affected by the changes.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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