BBC News reporter calls ULEZ protestors ‘conspiracy theorists’
Two devastating reports have revealed that Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emmission Zone (ULEZ) expansion, taxing thousands of drivers each day, will cost London hundreds of million of pounds a year and hit 1.2 million cars in the commuter belt. The London Mayor had planned for the rollout to take place this Autumn but they are subject to a legal challenge with a judge suggesting they might be “unlawful”.
According to research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), commissioned by FairFuelUK, ULEZ in central London is already exacting a huge economic cost on London.
The detailed research has revealed that this will get much worse if the Labour London Mayor has his way and expands the scheme to the entirity of Greater London.
It will mean that all diesel cars older than 2015 models and all petrol cars older than 2005 will have to pay a £12.50 daily charge to use London roads.
There are a few exemptions for people with disabilities and circus performers regarding specialist vehicles.
The main findings of the Cebr report show that the existing ULEZ scheme in central London has a negative impact on the capital’s economy estimated at £253 million a year.
The research suggests that the proposed ULEZ expansion will have an additional negative impact of £369 million annually.
This means the total ULEZ effect for cars and vans would be £538 million.
The report noted that “since the impact of the Proposed ULEZ on vans is 4.5 times that of the existing ULEZ and hence essentially on business activity, it is likely that the proposed ULEZ has additional indirect economic effects which we have not considered.”
Howard Cox from FairFuelUK said: “Mayor Khan’s fixation with an alleged air quality improvement scheme that not only unnecessarily fleeces drivers, sole traders, and low-income motorists, it also rips at least half a £billion out of the Capital’s economy per year.
“It is way passed time, hard pressed Londoners rid themselves of this dishonest career politician and support a new Mayor that will scrap ULEZ for good.”
Meanwhile, research carried out for the Conservative Party has estimated that the plans will also have a massive impact on towns and areas around London in the commuter belt which Labour are trying to win in the next election.
According to the research via Freedom of Information requests, 1.2 million cars in London’s commuter belt will be hit by the Labour Mayor’s ULEZ expansion.
DVLA data shows that Reading, Guildford, and Tunbridge Wells are among the worst affected areas, with a total of over 135,000, 131,000, and 124,000 non-complaint cars respectively.
Conservative chairman Greg Hands, who represents a London seat, said: “Londoners and commuters shouldn’t have to foot the bill for another one of Mayor Khan’s half baked ideas. Cleaning up air quality in the city is important – but hardworking people, businesses and local services shouldn’t be penalised in the process.
“There is huge opposition to the Mayor’s damaging cash grab policy, with hundreds of thousands of people signing petitions rallying against it.
“It’s time that Mayor Khan started listening to what Londoners have to say, instead of taking them for granted and ignoring their concerns.”
Sadiq Khan is facing a range of oipposition including some Labour MPs like Dagenham and Rainham’s Jon Cruddas.
But tonight his spokesmen have dismissed the research.
On the Cebr report, a spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “This hugely flawed report funded by the fossil fuel industry contains a highly-selective use of data and is full of errors.
“The report completely ignores swathes of important information, including the positive impact to business of the £110m scrappage scheme and the huge economic benefits of improving Londoners’ health. It also ignores the major benefits to businesses of reducing congestion in London.
“Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year due to air pollution, children are growing up with stunted lungs, and hundreds of thousands of people in our city are developing life-changing illnesses, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.
“The Mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one, but policies to further clean up London’s air are essential.”
The number of deaths from emissions has been disputed by campaigners.
However, on the Tory claims, a source close to the Mayor added: “These figures simply do not reflect reality. TfL data shows that 9 in 10 cars seen driving in outer London are already ULEZ compliant.
“The desperate Tories have nothing but 13 years of failure to point to and will say anything to distract from their appalling record on the cost of living.
“Voters won’t forget that the Tories have left them facing sky high fuel and food bills, ridiculous mortgages and rent hikes with no help on these essentials.
“They also won’t forget their record on the environment – the Tories have allowed sewage to pour into our rivers and they are happy for toxic fumes to fill our air.”
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