Back in March this year, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover almost all of Greater London, including Harrow.
These plans would see the ULEZ expanded by 29th August next year. Today, Harrow Council passed a motion to oppose the plans with the Leader of Harrow Council, Paul Osborn, writing a letter to Mr Khan.
The letter reads: “I am writing to you to formally state Harrow Council’s opposition to your proposed ULEZ expansion, which expands the scheme to include the London Borough of Harrow.
“Harrow Council, at a Full Council meeting on Thursday 21 July, adopted a motion which officially set Harrow’s position to oppose the ULEZ expansion.
“We believe the ULEZ expansion to be a regressive tax inflicted upon the poorest motorists. People do not choose to drive older, more polluting vehicles. They drive such vehicles because they cannot afford newer, environmentally friendly cars. Hitting such residents with a £12.50 charge every time they use their cars will hinder these people from getting better vehicles, not help them.
“The initial analysis published in the wake of your previous ULEZ expansion has shown only very limited evidence that the expansion made any meaningful improvement to air quality. You should not expand the ULEZ again until further comprehensive analysis has taken place.
“You should not be hitting people with extra charges during a cost-of-living crisis. This expansion will punish Harrow’s poorest motorists who need to drive their cars to shop and get to work.”
The letter continues, “You have set aside almost £400 million to fund the ULEZ expansion. Rather than punishing less well-off residents with a ULEZ tax, this money should be spent on schemes which incentivise residents to switch to less polluting vehicles and transport.
Cllr Osborn continues: “For example, you could fund; a faster upgrade to a zero-emission bus fleet, or increasing the roll out of rapid charging points, or encouraging more freight consolidation schemes”.
Cllr Osborn wrote, “I hope you will reconsider your ill-conceived ULEZ expansion and protect Harrow’s residents from yet more charges.”
To read the letter in full, please see the link here.