The ULEZ Policy is Wrong
"In November, London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (U.L.E.Z.) would be expanded to the whole of Greater London by August 2023, that includes Havering!
I am against this and have campaigned extensively against such a devastating move. It will hit the poorest households in Romford the hardest. As a consequence of Mayor Khan’s policy, residents with petrol cars older than January 2005 and diesel cars older than September 2014, which do not meet emission criteria, will have to pay an eye watering £12.50 a day just to travel.
As Romford has no Underground station, local people rely on their vehicles, more than most parts of Greater London. Yet, now they will either have to change their cars, stop driving or pay huge additional costs to comply with the imposition of U.L.E.Z.
In total, hard-working tradesmen, teachers, doctors, nurses, firemen, shopworkers, businessmen and prison officers will have to pay up to £3,000 a year – just to commute to and from work.
There is no evidence that this scheme will improve air quality. Sadiq Khan’s own Integrated Impact Assessment (I.I.A.) concluded that any air quality improvement from extending U.L.E.Z. was negligible, at best.
It is clear, though, what people think of the U.L.E.Z. expansion. In Mayor Khan’s own consultation, 80% of outer London Businesses and employees, 75% of tourists, and 90% of Black Cab Drivers oppose the expansion of the U.L.E.Z. How Mayor Khan can go ahead with this expansion – despite such definitive and widespread opposition – is beyond me.
Greater London cannot be treated with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach which fails to recognise the needs ofpeople in places like Romford. Unlike urban parts of the capital, residents in Romford don’t all have the luxury the central London transport system. Many have little option other than to use their cars for travel. Customers from outside of Romford, too, will be charged – which will only hurt local businesses.
People in Romford are fed up with being dictated to by Mayor Khan, who continues to ignore theirwishes. Greater London encompasses many areas with distinct and traditional identities which go back centuries. Romford, for example, retains its distinctive Essex identity. Many local people, who work in Essex, feel a far greater affinity to towns and cities like Brentwood, Southend and Chelmsford rather than places like Brentford, Southgate and Chelsea!
Yet because of Mayor Khan’s U.L.E.Z. policy, they will be forced to pay a fee to travel from Romford into the wider Essex County.
That whole policy is wrong! I will continue to be on the side of the people of Romford against Mayor Khan’s misguided agenda and carry on the fight to free Havering of control from City Hall in 2023!"